Bodywork with Laura Erlich, LAc
Cupping, Tui Na and/ or Gua sha (one or more modalities combined as needed)
Cupping is a traditional medicine used by cultures around the world, including Europe, Asia and throughout the Middle East, and dates back as far as ancient Egypt!
In essence, cupping is a form of acupressure using cups that are heated to create a vacuum and then placed in strategic locations over the skin. Traditional cupping is called “fire cupping’ and more modern forms of cupping use a pump to create suction.
Cupping is indicated when stagnation is found in the body. Stagnation can range from muscle tension including neck and back pain, lung stagnation, including bronchitis and upper respiratory infections, and in fertility conditions like endometriosis, painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) and ovarian hyper-stimulation after IVF. Cups are either left in place or moved, a method called ‘gliding cups.’
Cupping treatments often result in short term markings that range in color from light red to dark purple, and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Gua sha, also called scraping, is an technique for in the treatment of blood stagnation, which is considered a pathogenic condition in East Asian medicine. The method of Gua sha involves using a flat tool or coin to scraped an area of lubricated skin, causing “sha” (petecchiae) to rise to the subcutaneous region of the skin. This results in an anti-inflammatory response and a boost in immune activity, which can last for several days. Conditions that benefit from Gua sha include fevers, muscle tension, headaches, cough, back pain and gastrointestinal upset.
Tui Na is a form of therapeutic massage based on the principles of treating specific disharmonies in the body. Tui na is used in the context of other Chinese medicine modalities to address areas of pain in the body, reduce inflammation and release areas of stagnation.