acupuncture alternatives

In addition to or as an alternative to needle treatment, there are several other services which I provide.


Moxibustion is the treatment practice and ancient Chinese art of burning the herb, mugwort, either on the end of the inserted acupuncture needle or in place of the needle. The patient is not burned by the procedure and should feel a warming sensation spread throughout the body. I use smokeless, pre-formed moxa cones due to allergies.


Seeds are dried and hardened seeds that are attached to a small portion of adhesive bandaging. Seeds can be used to stimulate points in place of needles for people with needle phobias and small children. Seeds are also used auricularly to provide prolonged stimulation to points on the ear for when the patient has left the office.

Gua Sha

Gua sha involves gentle to vigorous scraping of the skin in order to release toxins. It is especially good to have a gua sha treatment done when one begins to feel the first symptoms of a cold as the treatment can help the body release and speed healing. A reddening of the skin is achieved and occasionally bruising will happen during this treatment. The treated area often feels tender afterward for a few days.


Cupping is a form of massage, consisting of the placement of several glass “cups” (open spheres) on the body. A match is lit and placed inside the cup and then removed before placing the cup against the skin. As the air in the cup is heated, it expands, and after placing in the skin, cools, creating a vacuum inside the cup that allows the cup to stick to the skin. Cups can remain stationary for the treatment or be slid around the body part creating a massage-like effect. Bruising is typical after a cupping treatment and the area may feel tender for a few days.

Cupping has become a trend with celebrities and often the resulting circular bruising has been photographed on many celebrities’ backs.