Acupuncture has been a major part of primary healthcare in
China for over 4,000 years. It is used extensively in over 40
countries for medical purposes ranging from:
disease prevention & treatment
pain relief (physical & emotional)
Some techniques used in conjunction with acupuncture are:
Moxibustion or "Moxa"
Moxibustion is the burning of the herb mugwort on or near
an acupoint. Moxa stimulates the flow of Qi and can be
used to drive cold from an area. Many types of pain are
associated with cold in Chinese medicine, especially back
Moxa can be made into a cigar-like roll and held close to
the skin to create warm sensations. Sometimes the moxa
is put on a needle. It can also be placed directly on the
skin but this is not a technique that I use.
When you enter the office you may smell moxa in the air.
Cupping is the placement, by suction, of glass cups at
strategic places on the body. The strength of the suction is
about what you might experience from a good vacuum
cleaner hose. Cupping can be used at the onset of a cold
or when you just don't feel right. I mostly use cups to relax
tight muscles. When a muscle is so tight it's hard to tell
what is muscle and what is bone or when the muscle feels
like a rope or when the tightness is chronic and either the
muscle does not relax or stay relaxed with other types of
treatment, I think of cupping.
Forms of cupping have been used not just in China, but
northern and eastern Europe as well as around the
Mediterranean and ancient Egypt. Ask elders in your family
and you may be surprised that cupping is a part of your
family tradition. It is a versatile technique that has been
part of folk traditions around the world.
The cups are usually left in place between 5 and 15
minutes. The suction is obtained by lighting an alcohol
swab, twinkling it the cup and quickly pressing the cup to
the skin. There is no heat on the skin, merely the suction
due to the expansion and expulsion of air from the cup.
The cups range in size from about as big as a mouthwash
bottle cover to nearly as large as the small fish bowls beta
fish are displayed in. After a treatment, the area will likely
look and feel like a bruise. The darker the color, the deeper
the stagnation. A successful treatment can bruise the skin
(as seen in this photo of Gwyneth Paltrow) and look very
ugly but it can bring relief like nothing else.
v i d e o s
During the past 3+ years, I have received acupuncture and
cupping therapy administered by Shoshana Osofsky L Ac.
In this span of time, the acupuncture treatments have
eliminated the pain and symptoms associated with carpal
tunnel syndrome (finger numbness, hand pain) and TMJ
(severe jaw pain). The elimination of pain associated with
these two maladies has been total with no recurrences.
With respect to cupping therapy, it is undoubtedly the
most powerful and stimulating massage-like sensation
that I’ve experienced. Cupping is the only method that
effectively reached deep-seated pain in my shoulders and
quelled it. The same effect held true for treatment of arm
pain. Cupping definitely does not hurt – it feels like
someone is pulling at your skin and reaching deep down
into the muscle structure below. The marks left as a
result of successful cupping are of no consequence –
they disappear in several days.
My opinion regarding the treatment rendered by Shoshana
Osofsky of Heartpath Acupuncture can best be summed
up by a quote that I borrow from another acupuncture
patient whose comments were recorded in connection to
a New York newspaper article:
“If nothing else, when I go to my acupuncturist, I am
completely relaxed and I have absolute trust in her – as
opposed to the tension I feel whenever I see an orthopod.
My acupuncturist is a healer – my orthopod is a business
– George D.
Heartpath Acupuncture, 2016