Additional Modalities

Beyond acupuncture and herbs, other therapeutic methods are often used in an acupuncturist’s office. They include cupping, tui na, gua sha, and Chinese nutrition therapy.


  • Used for: treating muscle pain, injuries, stiff joints
  • Creates a vacuum in a suction cup over various parts of the body
  • Draws blood flow to areas of pain
  • Relieves pain and re-supplies vital nutrients to local tissues
  • Mobilizes and stretches soft-tissue
  • Loosens areas of adhesion or restriction

Suction cups are typically placed locally over pain/injury sites, and left on for 5-10 minutes.

Tui Na

  • Used for: generalized muscle pain due to impaired circulation, limited joint range of motion
  • Literally meaning “push-grasp”
  • Best understood as Chinese massage
  • Combination of techniques to relieve muscle or joint pain

It includes acupressure, soft-tissue mobilization (compression, kneading, deep tissue massage), and assisted stretching.

Gua Sha

  • Used for: neck and shoulder tension, especially neck stiffness.
  • Gua means “rubbing” or “friction”
  • Sha translates as “congested” or “stagnant” blood
  • Similar to cupping

Involves rubbing the edge of a porcelain or plastic spoon in even strokes over the affected area. The resulting redness, or sha, indicates positive therapeutic results.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy

  • Used for: Accelerating recovery times
  • The American diet consists of many foods that are harmful to our bodies

Your acupuncturist can advise you on the specific foods that should be added to or eliminated from your diet to speed your recovery.