Cupping & Moxibustion

cupping and moxa

Our clinic offers combination therapy, meaning we integrate various ancient Chinese practices such as cupping and moxa therapy with our acupuncture and massage treatments.


Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese practice. It’s an effective way of releasing muscle tension. If you don’t like being touched or massaged you’ll find cupping therapy a great alternative. Cupping is also an effective treatment for colds and influenzas. Cupping is most effective when the initial stages of a cold are felt; cold shivers, sinuses/head congestion, weak body, sore throat and runny nose. Within 24hrs of the treatment, the symptoms of a cold can significantly reduce and if treated in time cupping can clear away the cold.

The technique of cupping involves using cups (made out of glass) and placing them directly on the skin (usually on the back). Prior to placing the cup over on the body, air pressure is created in the cup by lighting a soaked cotton ball of mentholated spirits and quickly inserting it in and out of the cup. This technique allows the oxygen in the cup to be sucked out, making the cup on your skin act like a vacuum, drawing the superficial muscle layer into the cup.

While the suction is active the cup may remain stationary or be handled by gliding or pulsating the cup over the body. When stationary the cups are left in place for about 20 minutes. When the cups are left stationary it will usually leave a red bruise like mark (without the pain). This is normal and will typically disappear within a week. The change of colour on the skin is caused by the congestion of blood flow. Cupping removes blood stasis and promotes circulation.


Moxibustion (moxa) involves burning the mugwort herb to generate heat over the body. Moxa relieves pain and discomfort associated with swelling or lack of blood circulation. Moxa can be effective in treating or managing arthritis (as long as there is no inflammation or heat found in the joints), menstrual cramps and associated muscular backaches. It also has a high rate in the correction of breech presentation.

We use indirect moxa with moxa sticks, moxa boxes and moxa on acupuncture needles to penetrate deep within the meridians, increasing blood flow to targeted areas, clearing blockages and driving out cold found in the body. Typically moxa sticks and boxes are held a few centimetres above the problem area for about five minutes. For extreme conditions direct moxa is applied directly over the skin which can cause minor scarring.