Cupping is a form of ancient Chinese medicine used in the treatment of pain syndromes, digestive diseases, respiratory diseases, and gynecological disorders. Glass cups are used with heat or suction to gently draw the skin and superficial layers of Fascia or connective tissue upwards into the cup. The vacuum effect helps to release the layers of adhesions in the tissues, reduce pain and break up muscular knots. There are three different techniques that may be used.

Stationary Cupping

The cups may be placed for 5 to 15 minutes without movement on the body. This technique dispels stagnation of blood and lymphatic fluids thereby relieving pain, toxicity, and improving blood circulation. This technique is great for pulling toxins to the surface.

Sliding Cupping

With the use medicinal oils, the practitioner places the cups as if to perform stationary cupping.  The cups are gently slid back and forth or in a circular motion to provide even greater release of the surrounding tissue.  This technique is great for chronic conditions such as shoulder and back pain.

Flash Cupping

Flash cupping uses a flaming cotton ball to generate suction.  In one fluid motion, the ball is placed into the cup and quickly removed before the cup is placed on the skin. The quick placement of the cups and quick removal with a “pop” of suction is repeated multiple times.  This technique is useful for early stage common colds, respiratory infections, bronchitis, and asthma.

Gua Sha

Meaning “To Scrape the Wind”, is a treatment in which the skin is gently scraped using a soft edged tool to produce a sub-cutaneous blemishing which increases surface circulation of blood.  It is performed by repeated pressured strokes over skin until “sha” or blemishes appear.  The blemishes are painless and will usually fade in 2-4 days. Gua sha can release toxins from Injured areas of the body, reduce fever, pain and inflammation, treat a cold, or problems with the lungs. Gua Sha is also used in facial rejuvenation acupuncture to tone and stimulate collagen production.

Tui Na – Chinese massage

Tui Na (pronounced “twee nah”) is a form of bodywork that has been used in China for centuries. A combination of massage, acupressure and other forms of body manipulation, Tui Na works by applying pressure to acupoints, meridians and groups of muscles or nerves to remove blockages that prevent the free flow of qi.

Removing blockages restores the balance of qi in the body, leading to improved health and vitality. Tui Na can be used in combination with your acupuncture treatment or as an independent treatment modality to facilitate your healing. Tui Na is best suited for rectifying chronic pain, musculoskeletal conditions and stress-related disorders that affect the digestive and/or respiratory systems.

​Among the ailments Tui Na treats best are neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, sciatica and tennis elbow. Tui Na is designed to improve and restore the flow of qi, treatment often ends up causing improvements to the whole body, not just a specific area. There is anecdotal evidence that headaches, constipation, premenstrual symptoms and some emotional problems may also be effectively treated through Tui Na.

Keiko Barringer,
L.Ac., DIPL. OM.

Keiko Barringer

Herbalist + Acupuncturist

Contact Keiko Barringer for your Cupping season today

Herbal Medicine

Esoteric Acupuncture


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