In addition to acupuncture and herbal medicine, there are numerous other modalities within Asian Medicine.
Electro-acupuncture involves transmitting a mild electric current through the acupuncture needles. The concept is similar to TENS (Transcutaneous Electro Nerve Stimulation). But rather than the electric current traveling on the surface of the skin (as in TENS), it travels deeper within the tissues and bypasses the pain receptors in the skin. Electro-acupuncture is just as painless as standard acupuncture. Electro-acupuncture is particularly effective to treat persistent pain, and to assist with detoxification and withdrawal from nicotine, alcohol, and drugs.
- Tui Na
Tui Na translates as “pushing (and) grasping,” and includes a variety of Asian medical massage techniques. Tui Na utilizes stretching, range of motion, traction, oscillation, kneading, and superficial and deep tissue techniques to restore proper orthopedic function. Historically, techniques such as acupressure, shiatsu, spinal adjustments, and bone-setting were all disciplines within Tui Na. Currently in the United States, Tui Na can include virtually any hands-on therapeutic bodywork technique, excluding Chiropractic adjustments and setting of bone fractures.
Cupping therapy is the application of vacuum-sealed cups to the surface of the skin. Cupping is indicated to treat sore and aching muscles, improve local circulation, remove waste metabolites via the lymphatic system, and to aid respiratory function.
Moxibustion is a focalized heat therapy. The heat is created by burning Moxa, which is dried mugwort leaf. The heat is used to treat various acupuncture points, meridians, muscles and other tissues, and internal organs. Moxibustion is an important adjunct to acupuncture, and the two therapies are often combined together.
- Gua Sha
Gua Sha translates as “friction-sha,” in which the sha is red petechia or ecchymosis that result from friction on the skin. The skin is first lubricated with massage oil, and then a smooth instrument is used to apply short and long strokes, creating friction over the skin surface. Gua Sha is most commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, but can also be indicated for asthma, bronchitis, fever, colds and flus.