cuppingCupping is a part of Chinese Medicine and is a useful  treatment for muscular tension and respiratory issues. I often use it in conjunction with acupuncture and herbs to treat seasonal allergies.

Cupping is an adjunct therapy used by acupuncturists and massage therapists. Today we either use glass or plastic cups, and a vacuum is created using a flame or
suction device, and the cup is applied to the skin. In the past animal horns were used as a cupping device. The suction of the skin helps to increase blood circulation and to release cold or damp energies from the body. If the client has a common cold, allergies, or tight muscles; cupping can be applied to move the Qi and release the pain held in the body.

The cups can be moved and cover areas where there is muscular tension, when they are removed there is a discoloration of the skin that disappears in a few days.

I enjoy receiving this technique myself and encourage you to try it in a treatment!


Maintaining Health in Fall

Astragulus rootIt is a beautiful Fall here in North Carolina, the maple tree in front of my house is a vibrant red. It is the time of year I like to think of herbs and foods that will strengthen my immune system to get ready for the Winter Season. Astragalus is one of my favorite herbs. It is considered an immune tonic with antioxidant properties and has been used in Chinese Medicine to prevent colds and flu, and to strengthen the Lung and Wei Qi of the body.

Wei Qi is considered the outer protective layer of the body connected with the surface of the skin. If Wei Qi is deficient people get sick more easily, sweat too much or not enough, easily get chilled or get sore throats. Astragalus is NOT to be taken while you have a cold but can help with rebuilding and gaining stamina after a cold or the flu passes.

I have in the winter added a few pieces of astragalus: (dried root ) and lots of yummy garlic while making soup, and let it simmer gently in the stock for several hours to help extract it’s medicinal properties. It has a sweet, not bitter taste and adds an excellent flavor. I remove the astragalus after the soup is made, since it is woody and wouldn’t be fun to chew! The dried roots can come in long 4-6 inch sections, so can easily be removed. Organic whole roots can be found on line. If you have questions about astragalus check with your health practitioner to see if this herb is helpful for your constitution or health condition.

Blessings to you all this Fall!