Other Treatment Methods


Often used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the effect of the treatment. The herb, Moxa, (artemsia argyi – common name: mugwort) is used to warm the acupuncture points. This supplements the Qi and blood, and warms and relaxes the muscles and mobilises the body fluids.

Moxa can be used directly on the skin, being made into small cones, placed on acupuncture points or on the end of a needle, and ignited to allow it to smoulder. Another technique is to waft a lighted moxa stick (a little like a cigar) along the meridian pathways.

Using moxa on acupuncture point Bladder 67  for turning breech babies is a common, simple and non-invasive treatment for pregnant women.

See the following article for research on the effects of moxa:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789413/


The application of presssure through rubbing, applied to the skin with a specialised round-ended instrument. It is mostly used on the back, shoulders and neck but can be applied to other body areas.

Technically, guasha produces ‘transitory therapeutic petechiae that represent extravasation of blood in the subcutis’. Basically, the rubbing of the skin in a specific way, increases the circulation of blood in the surface tissues. As a result, this technique causes small red or purple spots (petechiae) called ‘sha’ to appear. The skin is not damaged in any way and the redness fades in a few days.

Guasha is used to move blocked Qi (energy), which is considered to be the main cause of pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. There have been many research trials conducted in China that show it’s effectiveness. There’s also a growing body of research in the West confirming the anti-inflammatory effects and immune stimulation properties of guasha.

For further information see:






Massage of the tissues (either with or without oil) may also be used, to free the flow of Qi in specific areas, to relax the muscles and improve circulation of blood and lymph.

Various techniques can be used, to rub, knead, stretch, tap or percuss the muscles and work on specific acupuncture channels. In addition, working at various depths and in certain directions also influence the flow of Qi through the body.

herbs and diet


Acupuncture and herbal medicine were traditionally practiced together. Chinese herbs offer a huge support for many issues and both acupuncture and herbs complement each other – using the same methodology, they are uniquely integrated in their action. See the Herbs links for more info.

Diet and Lifestyle

Most people think that acupuncture is almost solely the insertion of needles into the body. However, all the classical Chinese medicine texts place great emphasis on the quality, nature, timing and process of eating, alongside how one lives one’s life. Great volumes have been written on these practices, where the emphasis is on health and long life.

Depending upon your condition, time will be spent discussing diet and lifestyle in order to support your acupuncture treatment. Further information can be given for those interested in pursuing greater understanding of this area.

something about Classical Acupuncture (see the page ‘what exactly is classical acupuncture’)