Cupping, kinesiotaping, and moxibustion

Cupping

Cupping is an ancient technique, used in many cultures, in which cups are applied to the skin and held in place by suction. The suction draws superficial muscle and fascia (connective tissue) into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body. Cupping decompresses areas of tightness and blockage brings fresh blood to the area and helps improve circulation. Traditional cupping, sometimes referred to as “fire cupping,” uses heat to create a vacuum-like suction inside of glass cups. Today, we also use cups made of rubber, silicone, or hard plastic in addition to or in place of the glass cups.

Kinesiotaping

Kinesiotaping is a unique application of taping that is helpful in a wide variety of conditions. It’s commonly seen on athletes, however it is quite useful for non-athletes as well. The tape is flexible and comfortable enough to stay in place for up to 3-4 days, providing continual healing benefits for an extended period of time.
 
It works according to these 5 basic functions:
 –  changes pain signal messaging between the body & brain
 – decompresses areas of swelling/inflammation
 – delays muscle fatigue
 – normalizes muscle tone & coordinates muscle group activity
– distributes physical stress of muscles/tendons/ligaments
 
I received my taping certification in Functional Movement Techniques with Rocktape. I regularly treat patients with these conditions with kinesiotaping (often in addition to other therapies in my clinic):
  • plantar fasciitis
  • low back pain
  • IT band tightness
  • knee pain/weakness
  • scar tissue/adhesions
  • carpal tunnel
  • elbow tendonitis
  • upper back/neck/shoulder pain, tightness, fatigue
  • preparation for endurance activities (long run, race day, vacations involving increased hiking, biking)

Moxibustion

Moxibustion involves the heating of acupuncture points with smoldering mugwort herb (known as moxa). Moxibustion stimulates circulation, counteracts cold and dampness in the body, and promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi. This safe, non-invasive technique may be used alone, but it is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. Moxa-infused balms, oils, tinctures, and patches are also convenient methods for applying moxibustion in the clinic and at home.