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By Chinese Medicine, Cupping

What is cupping?

Cupping is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy used to treat ‘stagnation’ within the body. Stagnation happens with all kinds of muscle tension and strain, and in some people, stagnation is a part of their general condition or illness.

The treatment involves placing glass cups that are heated with a flame onto the affected areas. As the air inside the cups cools, a vacuum is created which makes the skin rise. The suction flushes out the toxins and relaxes tight muscles.


What happens in a cupping therapy session?

Cupping therapy relieves tension, strain and stagnation by stimulating blood circulation and bringing ‘old blood’ to the surface. Old blood is in fact stagnant cellular debris, dead lymph and toxins. Cupping helps to release these toxins and debris, and brings new fresh blood and nutrients to the area to promote healing. After a treatment, the colour of the cupping marks shows the degree of stagnation. Dark or purple marks indicate deep or long-term stagnation, and more severe injuries. Lighter colour marks indicate milder levels of stagnation.

Cupping uses glass cups that are heated with a flame, then applied to the affected area. The heat within the cup creates a ‘sucking’ sensation that draws stagnation and tension out of the body. There are three main types of cupping therapy:

Stationary cupping – this is when several cups are applied to the affected area and left in place for a few minutes. Stationary cups are used to relieve all kinds of muscle strain and tension.

Mobile cupping – a small amount of balm or oil is applied to the skin and we move or ‘glide’ the cups over the area. This is great for large areas like the upper back for instance, to relax all the tight spots while increasing the flow of qi and blood to repair injury.

Flash cupping – this is when the cup is applied and removed quickly, creating a ‘popping’ noise. Flash cupping is repeated quickly over a number of spots, perhaps all the way down the band of muscles alongside the spine. This form of cupping is very effective to promote whole body healing. It is gentler and causes the least amount of bruising.

From a biomedical viewpoint, the cup’s sucking action brings blood to the surface causing petechiae, or ‘bruising’, blood leaking into the subcutaneous tissue. This slight extravasation from the surrounding capillaries causes an instant healing response – an increased number of platelets and fibrin flowing into the area helps stop the bleeding. The sucking action of the cups, and their ‘bruising’ effect, brings clean-up cells such as phagocytes and macrophages to repair injured cells and tissue and to break down and dissolve the petechiae, an affect that reaches all the ‘old blood’.

Cupping can give instant relief for sore muscles and stiff joints. After cupping therapy, it is very common to leave the Clinic with instant improvements in muscle tension and pain – clients frequently comment on how their tight muscles have relaxed and stiff joints feel so much easier. Later, they tell us about additional effects, like how their sleep improved, they felt less stressed, and their general wellbeing felt that much better.

 If you’re interested, book in for a 30-minute session with us cupping book now

Chinese Medicine & Cancer Treatments

By Acupuncture, Cancer Treatments, Chinese Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is a routine option for oncology patients in China.

As well as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and so on, cancer patients will take the CHM formulas prescribed by their Oncologists. These formulas are given to assist their treatments and to manage the side-effects of treatments, such as nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea, insomnia and urticaria (hives or rashes).

There have been many research studies into the efficacy of CHM in supporting the treatment of cancer patients, and the results indicate that Jia Wei Xiao Yao San (加味逍遥散) is one of, if not the most prescribed formula in mainland China and Taiwan for breast cancer patients. This formula was developed during the Ming dynasty China and consists of 10 herbs. Its main actions are to help clear heat and reduce inflammation, protect the liver and spleen, and to nourish the qi and blood. The top 10 list of Chinese herbal formulas used for breast cancer patients shows the most frequently prescribed ones, and overall, their main focus is to support the body and reduce side effects. But what is so interesting about this list is that each formula supports a different body constitution, and targets individual conditions and reactions to treatment. Each one can be further modified to suit individual women and their particular stages of recovery.

Here at The Health Clinic, we have been working with a client who has started chemotherapy after her recent breast cancer diagnosis. We prescribed Jia Wei Xiao Yao San for her and in the weeks following her chemo sessions, she has noticed improved sleep patterns and reduced hot flushes at night. While Jia Wei Xiao Yao San is number one on the top 10 list, as Chinese herbalists we work closely with all of our clients, their particular conditions and issues, during and after their cancer treatment sessions.

Acupuncture is another great option we recommend to assist clients during their cancer treatments. Acupuncture has also been shown to significantly improve physical and mental fatigue, decrease anxiety and depression and increase quality of life in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. And research indicates that acupuncture has far reaching effects on immune system function, so it is not a stretch to suggest that acupuncture can benefit immune system function in chemotherapy patients as well, a benefit that would greatly aid in their ability to avoid contracting other illnesses during their treatment for cancer.

Winter Solstice & Moxa Promotion

By Moxa
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To celebrate Winter Solstice at The Health Clinic this year, we are offering a 20-minute moxibustion treatment for only $20.

Moxibustion (灸jiǔ) is one of traditional Chinese medicine’s therapeutic techniques – earliest records of moxibustion date back to 581 BC. This technique consists of burning dried mugwort – the dried leaves of Artemisia Vulgaris – a plant that is known for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antimicrobial properties.

Today, the mugwort is carefully aged, ground and shaped into moxa sticks, and in clinic, we light one end of the moxa stick and hold it above selected acupuncture points. This creates a lovely warmth that penetrates the point, travels through the channels, and stimulates the body’s physiological functions. Hence the reason why we have so many patients that come into The Health Clinic asking for moxa.

When applied by qualified Chinese medicine practitioners, moxibustion is a very popular method to strengthen the body, prevent illness and maintain health. It is an amazing form of treatment that can help many different acute and chronic illnesses, such as:

  • digestive issues
  • fertility
  • female health
  • pain and/or musculoskeletal complaints
  • sleep / anxiety
  • autoimmune disease
  • general health overall
  • plus, loads more

A very famous traditional Chinese medicine proverb says, ‘if all else fails, use moxa’!

It’s amazing, and we love it, and we want to share it with you!!

Please feel free to book in for a relaxing 20-minute moxa session for your health from June 21st to July 31st, 2022. You will leave feeling calm and relaxed, and warm against the winter chill.

Please share this email with any friends, family or colleges that may also want to indulge …. we are passionate about promoting Chinese medicine and showing people what it can do, so don’t be shy and come see if moxa works for you. You will leave feeling relaxed, calm, and as if you have had the best experience of your life.

If you have any queries, please contact us.

Book Now