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Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Cupping


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Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Cupping

Acupuncture and Moxibustion are important components of TCM with a long history. As early as the New Stone Age in China, primitive human beings used 'bian' stones, the earliest acupuncture instruments, to treat disease. As tool production developed, bone and bamboo needles appeared and, after the development of metal casting techniques and metal tools, the use of metal medical needles, fashioned from bronze, iron, gold and silver, became prevalent. Today, stainless steel needles are the most widely used.

Acupuncture is based on the belief that health is determined by a balanced flow of Qi (or Chi), the vital life energy present in all living organisms. Qi is said to circulate in the body along twelve major pathways, called Meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. Within the Meridian system, there are over a thousand acupoints, located just under the skin, which can be stimulated to enhance the flow of Qi. Acupuncturists insert special needles into these acupoints, helping to correct the flow of energy, thus relieving pain and providing curative benefits. 

Used either separately or in conjunction with Acupuncture, Moxibustion again focuses on the acupoints in the body. It was gradually developed after the discovery and use of fire. Primitive man began by finding that warming themselves by fire helped relieve pain resulting from the cold. From this, they came to use hot stones or sand wrapped in animal skin or bark to treat disease through local heat compression, gradually perfecting the technique using ignited branches or hay to warm the affected part.

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This is the most primitive form of Moxibustion. It was subsequently found, through trial and error, that Moxa leaves produced the best results when used as Moxibustion material. The modern process involves the burning of the herbs, formed into a 'Moxastick', above or on the skin at the relevant acupoints, warming the blood and thus enhancing the flow of Qi. When used in conjunction with acupuncture, the herb is burned at the point of entry into the skin.

Cupping is an ancient detoxification method used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditionally, bamboo and plant stems were used; nowadays, practitioners work with glass cups of various sizes.

After a consultation and diagnosis, glass cups are warmed with a burning taper to create a vacuum. Each cup is placed on a selected area, pulling the skin upwards and drawing out toxins. Cups are left for up to 20 minutes. When removed, the redness, contour and darkness of the mark left is examined; the round red marks will remain for 3 to 4 days though the process itself is not painful.

Typically, Cupping is used for the treatment of ailments as diverse as influenza, asthma, abdominal pain, menstrual problems, and muscular and musculoskeletal disorders. 

The Institute offers regular clinics and accepts private consultancies for all of these services. Please contact us for information

 
DISCLAIMER:The Institute of Chinese Medicine dispenses herbs and certain creams and pills without prior consultation. In such cases, the Institute takes no responsibility for misuse or failure to comply with any manufacturer's instruction. The Institute recommends that all prescriptions and exercise routines be undertaken under the guidance of its personnel and further recommends that you inform or seek the guidance of your GP or qualified medical or allied health professional.

 
 
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The Institute of Chinese Medicine | 44-46 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HS | Tel: +44 (0)20 7836 5220 | Fax +44 (0)20 7836 5223

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The Institute of Chinese Medicine, 2007