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What is...? Cupping, Gu asha & Tui Na

Usually when your in the treatment room you see me work with acupuncture needles but there are a few more Chinese Medicine techniques I may use.

Gu asha

One of the most effective techniques to reduce muscle stiffness as well as the best low cost anti ageing technique you should be doing at home! Why it’s done: relieves acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, improves circulation & reduces inflammation. Great for facial rejuvenation to invigorate & lift skin. Also supports a a healthy immune system

How is it done?

Hand held tools are used to press and stroke an area of skin which has had oil applied, gua sha can be referred to as a “scraping” technique, but not it’s not as scary as it sounds. Tools are commonly flat stones, usually made from jade or other semi-precious stones like rose quartz. Jade is considered a yin stone for its cooling nature to alleviate inflammation. For hygienic reasons I use a metal baby jar cap with a thick lip for guasha on the body in the treatment room.


Gua means “to rub” and sha refers to the “reddened” marks that appear from scraping a specific area. When redness appears it indicates lack of blood flow (blood stagnation) or heat trapped in the body. The quality, colour and location of the sha are part of pattern diagnosis.

Facial Gu asha 

Is a very popular anti ageing technique to naturally stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. It can be used for lifting and sculpting, relaxing tight muscles which cause fine lines to form (like brows furrows) and reducing puffy skin under the eye area and cheeks. 

It’s also helpful for jaw tension, seasonal allergies and sinus congestion.

Check out this great video:


Have you ever looked at picture of an athlete and wondered why there were strange circular marks on there back? That’s cupping!

There are a few techniques used in cupping. The traditional method of lighting a flame in a glass cup and then quickly applying to an area of tension on the body. This method is great, but I prefer using suction cups with disposable liners. A suction tool is placed on the top of the cup and voila, no open flames in the treatment room.

Facial Cupping

Another popular anti ageing trend is using mini medical grade plastic cups on the face. Using a high quality facial oil the mini cups are used in sweeping motions up the jaw line and over the cheeks area to sculpt. With a quick Google search you can find a set of these for home.

Want to learn more?

Ear Seeds

Many of you attending acupuncture will have a good understanding of these tiny gems! Auricular acupuncture is a whole other system of treatment. There are around 150 acupuncture points just in the ear. One of the most popular points I use is Shen Men. This points provides calming, focus and a super zen feeling in between acupuncture treatments. Quality ear seeds range from tiny metal balls to Swarovski gem stones. You can carry on with normal activities like washing your hair, they won’t fall out.

Tui Na

Instead of using needles, specific massage techniques are used to move blood in an area of pain, numbness or area of stagnation. Unlike a typical sports massage tui na is working with meridians and acupressure points on the body. Muscle groups are important but the overall goal is to re establish balance in one or a few meridians. 

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