My fees are $75 per one one-hour treatment. I do not charge extra for cupping, moxa, estim, or gua sha, as long as the time it takes to do any of these adjunctive treatments doesn’t extend an appointment much beyond an hour. I do not charge extra for your first visit, even though it is a 90-minute appointment.
Besides acupuncture, there are several other treatments I can do. These include cupping, moxibustion, estim, and gua sha.
Cupping is the use of plastic, glass, or silicone cups to create negative pressure in the cup which lifts tissue into the cup to draw out stagnant energy, mobilize tissue, loosen tight muscles, and improve circulation. I like to think of it as the opposite of massage. Whereas massage is positive pressure – the therapist uses their hands to put pressure on your body – cupping uses negative pressure, or suction, to effect a healing response. I usually use silicone cups because they are convenient and comfortable and still allow for strong suction pressure when necessary. I often drag the suctioned cups along the paraspinals, for example, to treat back pain.
Moxibustion is the burning of herbs used to warm acupuncture points with or without needles. Moxa is rolled up into a cigarette-like stick to make it easy to light and burn. There are many ways to use moxa, but I usually use indirect moxa, which means I hold the burner herb very close to the acupuncture points. Moxa warms and strengthens and is used for cold, weak or deficient conditions.
Estim is the use of gentle electrical current to stimulate the needles in your body. It takes the place of manual stimulation and is a labor-saving device for acupuncturists. I like to use it for sports injuries, back pain, and headaches, among other things. When I use estim, I use alligator clips attached to lead wires and clip them onto the needless in your body. The leads are attached to an electronic device which sends a very mild, low level electric pulse into the needle. It brings more oxygenated blood to the area, and is a great way to generate endorphins to treat pain conditions.
Gua sha, or press stroking, friction therapy, or scraping therapy, is instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. Simply put, gua sha is the use of a smooth edged tool to apply scraping pressure to your body to improve circulation and encourage healing. It is mostly used for stiff and sore muscles, and to loosen fascia, but can also be used for scars, adhesions, and to initiate or regulate an immune response.