The needles used in acupuncture differ from the hypodermic needles used in Western Medicine - they are not hollow and don't slice through skin and muscles. They have a conical tip, which parts the skin and muscle as the needle glides into the acupuncture point. The result of this is that there is little to no discomfort when the needle is inserted.
When Qi (energy or life force) is drawn to the needle the patient can often feel a dull ache, while this may feel a bit uncomfortable, it doesn't last long and is a good indicator that the point is active. Acupuncture needles are single-use and sterile, and they are made of stainless steel. Therefore they do not break or cause infection.
Moxa is used to assist in the strengthening of the function of a point and used in areas which are deficient or blocked - for isntance in the case of with chronic back pain or prolonged digestive weakness.
Moxibustion is a process involving a small bundle of herbs being burnt either on the end of the needle or over the skin of an acupuncture point. It can be used to bring warmth into the channel to remove cold blockages for such conditions as frozen shoulder.
Cupping involves attaching jars to the bodys surface, causing local congestion through the negative pressure created by introducing heat. This process is used to remove toxins and old blood from sore muscles. It invigorates Qi and blood flow to help reduce muscular aches and pains. Skin may appear bruised at the site of cupping following treatment due to the toxins coming up to the surface. There is no discomfort and the marks will disappear after a couple of days.
Chinese massage therapy also known as Tui na or Anma, is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Chinese herbalism, Tai Chi, and qigong.
Tui na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist and martial arts principles in an effort to bring the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into balance.
The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub between each of the joints - known as the eight gates - in an attempt to open the body's defensive (wei) chi and mobilise energy in the meridians and the muscles.
The practitioner will then use range of motion, traction, and massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points. These techniques are claimed to aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions. Tui na offers specialised treatment for infants, adults, orthopedics, traumatology, cosmetology, rehabilitation and sports medicine.