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Cupping & Gua Sha

Cupping and Gua Sha (pronounced “Gwa-Shaw”) are two manual therapy techniques that can be helpful to reduce muscle soreness and pain, increase mobility, as well as treat certain internal medicine conditions.

We do not offer stand-along cupping or gua sha sessions, but include these modalities in acupuncture sessions when appropriate. We always discuss this option with the patient first.

Cupping uses specialized glass or plastic cups to create suction over large muscle areas, thereby increasing blood flow to the area and reducing restrictions in the connective tissue. We most commonly use cupping on the upper back, neck, shoulders, and low back for musculoskeletal tension or stress. Cupping can also be used in certain kinds of respiratory or digestive issues.

Gua Sha uses special tools to create friction over the skin in particular directions along particular pathways, channels, or muscle groups. Like cupping, gua sha can increase blood flow and break up adhesions in the tissue.

Both cupping and gua sha can leave marks on the skin that fade after a couple of days. These markings are a normal, healthy part of treatment and your practitioner will discuss this with you.