What's Chinese medicine? From acupuncture to cupping and herbal medicine, more and more people (including Katy Perry in herNever Really Over music video) are checking out the benefits of this 3,500-year-old system of medicine that can be used to prevent, diagnose, and treat all sorts of imbalance and disease. Between the availability of acupuncture, acupressure, and cupping (among other treatments), we’re breaking down what each one involves, as well as their benefits to your well-being.
Powerful Little Needles
Acupuncture, the insertion of tiny, sterile needles into specific points on the body, enhances circulation of biological energy — called Qi (pronounced CHEE) — as well as blood and lymph, in order to encourage and stimulate your natural healing capabilities. These needles can invigorate every system, including the circulatory, nervous, endocrine, digestive, and reproductive systems, to help calm the mind and restore the body’s perfect balance (think yin & yang). And to think, all of this can be done with the help of just a few tiny, generally pain-free needles!
Secret: Who knew that one of the best acupuncture points for digestion is just below the knee, and one of the best points for calming your spirit/mind is in your ear?!
Afraid of Needles?
Not to worry, that’s what acupressure is for! Acupressure uses the same points as acupuncture, but instead of inserting needles, gentle pressure is applied. In treatment, the goal is to stimulate acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages from energetic channels, and getting Qi to flow uniformly through the body. Some practitioners use aromatherapy on the points to add another layer of healing into the treatment.
Getting Sucked Into Cupping
Cupping is an ancient therapy that is used to promote blood and oxygen circulation, in order to relieve pain and inflammation, as well as detoxify and boost your immune system. Glass or silicone cups are vacuum-sealed to your body (generally on the back), leaving you looking like you’ve been kissed by an octopus, but feeling like you’ve had the best deep tissue massage — in reverse — ever! Cupping is especially great for muscle tension, aches and pains, cough or lung conditions, acne, and general detoxification.
Secret: Gentle cupping can be done on the face to keep skin looking fresh, glowing, and healthy.
For thousands of years, plants have been used for their majestic healing properties, helping to increase energy, reduce bloating, aid in digestion, relieve menstrual cramps, promote thick, shiny, healthy hair, and calm the mind for a great night’s sleep. Today, herbal formulas are commonly combined in a capsule, pill, powder, or tincture (concentrated liquid herbal extract), and when prescribed by a licensed herbalist, are considered a safe and effective alternative to — or in conjunction with — prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
Secret: Did you know that nutmeg can help with frequent loose bowel movements? And that cardamom and reishi mushroom can help with a foggy, sluggish mind?
Now That You’re In On the Secrets
Enjoy all that Chinese medicine has to offer, but keep in mind that acupuncture and cupping should only be performed by licensed and certified providers, and herbal medicine should be prescribed under the consultation of a licensed herbalist!
These methods of traditional Chinese medicine were prepared exclusively for Ellie by Katya Mosely, Licensed Acupuncturist and women’s health specialist. You can find her on Instagram at @spiritgate.la. Website:www.spiritgatela.com