Moxibustion & Cupping Therapy

Moxibustion (moxa) involves burning the mugwort herb, also known as artemesia vulgaris, to generate heat over the body. We use indirect moxibustion techniques where the practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red.

The patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates the skin deep within the meridians, increasing blood flow to targeted areas, clearing blockages and driving out cold found in the body.

Moxa can be effective in relieving pain and discomfort associated with swelling or lack of blood circulation. It is also used to manage arthritis (as long as there is no inflammation or heat found in the joints), menstrual cramps and associated muscular backaches.

There is some evidence that it may assist in the correction of breech presentation. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the Bladder meridian.

Cupping Therapy (Baguanfa)

Traditional and modern cupping is based on an ancient Chinese practice used on acupressure points and along the meridians to remove stagnation in the body so that qi can flow freely.

A glass cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced by suction in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Sometimes, while the suction is active, the cup is moved, causing the skin and muscle to be pulled. This is called gliding cupping. Pain caused by congestion or restriction of tissue can be alleviated by the withdrawing effect of this modality, rather than the downward pressure adapted by massage related therapies.

Cupping can penetrate up to 10 centimeters into the tissues activating the lymphatic system, promoting blood circulation and repairing deep tissue. It is recommended for the treatment of chronic pain, for colds and influenzas, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma) and to activate the skin e.g. to clear stretch marks and improve the appearance of varicose veins.

I first started seeing Barry in 2014 with a chronic neck condition and resultant carpal tunnel syndrome as the result of an accident. After the first treatment that included remedial massage and moxibustion on my back and neck I was pain-free for the first time in many months. His approach is unlike anything I have experienced from any previous practitioner. I now visit him several times a year just to maintain my condition. I highly recommend him!

Susan T. Gatton