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 Cupping is the method of using glass cups to create localized circulation by a vacuum, and forcing blood and lymph flow where the area is blocked or deficient. The Chinese have been doing this since ancient times by using heat to create the suction action of the glass or bamboo cups. This vacuum effect causes the blood to flow to the area in need of help and healing

 The lympatic system, which is closely linked with the immune system, helps to clear the body of harmful metabolic waste products, foreign material, and cell debris. Every cell in our bodies release metabolic waste products into, and takes up nutrients from a surrounding solution called the extracellular fluid. Cellular nourishment and efficiency depends on how fast and how completely waste material is removed from the extracellular fluid. The meridians are one of several pathways for toxins released from the extracellular fluid to exit the body. Capillaries and lymphatic channels will also pick up toxins and carry them to the liver and kidneys, where they will be detoxified and/or excreted.

 Cupping reduces general aches and pains in our bodies. In alternative medicine, pain is believed to be caused by imbalance in energy and blood flow. This can be related to stress in the body, imbalances of hormones and fluids, lack of blood flow, and temperature in the muscles and joints. When a cup is place on or around a problem area, the pull of the cup creates warmth and circulation in the area. As soon as the cups are released, the pain will be reduced.

 Cupping has many benefits. It is used mostly for tight shoulders, neck and back pain, pain in the shoulder joint and arms, knee and leg pain, increasing immunity and getting over flu and colds in record time, loosening any tight muscle, relaxation, fatigue, uncontrolled muscle spasms, as well as cellulite control and weight reduction, etc

 Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists believe that these areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems, and that pressing them has a beneficial effect on the organs and person's general health. For example, reflexology holds that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder point. When a reflexology practitioner uses thumbs or fingers to apply appropriate pressure to this area, it affects bladder functioning.

Reflexology is growing increasingly popular across Europe and Asia as both a complement to other treatments and as a preventive measure. One example is Denmark, where various municipalities and companies have employed reflexologists since the early '90s. 

According to several studies, this practice in Denmark has resulted in reduced sick leave and absenteeism (and significant economic savings for the employers). Employees have consistently reported complete or partial improvement in conditions where they sought reflexologists' help and even relief for additional problems related to stress. In one municipal district, almost one-third of the employees reported greater satisfaction with their jobs after completing six sessions with a reflexologist.

 Tuina is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy, Tui meaning “push” and Na meaning “grasp”.  It has been practised in China for more than 4000 years.  Tuina is the deeply penetrating and vigorous massage therapy provided within the traditional Chinese Medical System.

The techniques of Tuina and details of its uses in treating a range of health problems were already documented in a vast treatise – The Yellow Emperor's Classics of Internal Medicine, written about 2500 years ago. After such a lengthy period of development, modern Tui Na is the most tried and tested hands-on therapy in the world and is the basis upon which Shiatsu and Swedish massage are founded.

Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body to naturally heal itself. The Chinese believe that health and vitality depend on Qi balance in the body. Tuina is one of the best ways of achieving this and it uses an array of techniques to do it. A Casual observer watching a session sees what appears to be a thorough workout for the soft tissues and joints, but the practitioner aims to do more than this. Attention is focused on meridians and selected acupuncture points. They are massaged in different ways to remove all blockages to the flow of Qi.

 Tuina treats chronic pain, especially that caused by muscle-skeletal conditions and injuries. Neck, shoulder and back pain and immobility, sciatica and ‘tennis elbow' all respond very well. It is, however, impossible to treat a specific condition with Tuina without improving the overall Qi status of the body. This means that headaches, migraines, IBS, constipation, PMS and a whole range of emotional problems can also be treated. Advanced Tuina practitioners may also use Chinese herbs to facilitate quicker healing. External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.

 

 Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, Canada and United States. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient's skin at specific points on the body the needles are inserted to various depths. We are not sure how acupuncture works scientifically. However, we do know that it does have some therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and alleviation from nausea caused by chemotherapy.

 According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which gi vital energy runs. There is no histological, anatomical or scientific proof that these meridians or acupuncture points exist. Acupuncture remains controversial among Western medical doctors and scientists. Creating case studies that use proper scientific controls is difficult because of the invasive nature of acupuncture  - a clinical study involves a placebo (sham product) compared to the targeted treatment. It is very hard to devise a sham acupuncture control that one can compare to proper acupuncture.  While some studies have concluded that acupuncture offers similar benefits to a patient as a placebo, others have indicated that there are some real benefits.

 According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more. People with tension headaches and/or migraines may find acupuncture to be very effective in alleviating their symptoms, according to a study carried out at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Another study at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that twice weekly acupuncture treatments relieve debilitating symptoms of xerostomia - severe dry mouth - among patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer.

What are the benefits and risks of acupuncture?

All therapies have benefits and risks.

The benefits of acupuncture are:

  • When performed correctly it is safe
  • There are very few side effects
  • It is a very effective combination treatment
  • It is effective in controlling some types of pain
  • It may be considered for patients who do not respond to pain medications
  • It is a useful alternative for patients who do not want to take pain medications

The risks of acupuncture are:

  • It is dangerous if the patient has a bleeding disorder
  • It the dangerous if the patient is taking blood thinners
  • There may be bleeding, bruising and soreness at the insertion sites
  • The needle may break and damage an internal organ (very rare)
  • Unsterilized needles may infect the patient
  • When inserted deeply into the chest or upper back there is a risk of collapsed lung (very rare)

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