Cupping is a therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine commonly used in treating persistent and painful injuries or reducing muscle tension, and works by stimulating the flow of energy in the body. Frequently performed on the arms. legs and back, cupping can be an essential component of acupuncture treatment in improving mobility and movement while providing relaxing relief to injured areas or tense, painful muscles.

Cupping improves the circulation of blood, bringing toxic blood up and out and new blood in. Cupping helps such issues such as generalized pain, injuries of the back/shoulders/neck, herniated discs, disc degeneration, arthritis, and other conditions such as migraines, asthma, colds and flu’s, and insomnia.

Cupping only takes about five to fifteen minutes to experience the relaxation comparable to a deep tissue massage, and the technique can reduce the number of treatments you need to alleviate pain by about 30% to 70%. Creating negative pressure with the suction of cups helps to stimulate the peripheral nervous system while draining excess toxins and fluids from the body. For almost anything that ails you, cupping is proven to provide relief and help restore the natural healing capacity of the body.


Around the same time acupuncture became a component of traditional Chinese medical practices in early northern China thousands of years ago, moxibustion evolved as well.

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a process that produces radiant heat that helps to promote circulation, restore balance, eliminate excess moisture in the body, and support Qi by penetrating deeply into the body.  This is accomplished by burning an herbal wool created using Mugwort plant leaves, referred to as “moxa.

Moxa is an herb that burns slowly over specific acupuncture points typically located on one of the organ chanels.  While moxa does not physically touch the body, it is passed using wave-like motions over the skin after being rolled in a cigar-like manner or shaped into a small cone on the tip of a needle.  Most patients find moxibustion extremely relaxing and enjoyable.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha, also known as spooning or scraping, is another healing technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. We use a gua sha tool or spoon on certain areas of the body surface to move the blood to reduce inflammation and dispel toxins. Gua Sha treatments often provide immediate relief from pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea and vomiting.

We invite those in Santa Cruz and surrounding areas who have more questions about cupping, moxibustion, and gua she to contact Points for Wellness at 831-475-1055.