Cupping & Gua Sha
This technique uses glass cups as suction devices placed along the meridians (energy channels) or over specific acupuncture points. By lighting an alcohol-soaked cotton ball on fire, quickly swiping it in and out of the cup, and placing the cup on the skin, a vacuum-like suction is created breaking up stagnation, increasing blood circulation, and easing pain & discomfort. Cups can be left stationary or moved back and forth to stimulate more acupoints or meridians. Typical sessions last 5-10 minutes, and tend to leave marks on the body. These marks can range in color from light pink to dark purple and will last anywhere from 3-7 days.
Chinese for ‘scraping,’ this technique is used for its anti-inflammatory and immune-protective effects. Using a smooth-edged gua sha tool on lubricated skin, the scraping back and forth creates the desired redness and bruising known as ‘sha.’ Beneficial for increasing qi and blood circulation as well as breaking up stagnation, gua sha is most commonly used to treat pain and address conditions such as asthma, muscle sprains and strains, and colds.