Cupping therapy involves local suction of skin and muscle using plastic or glass cups. Suction is applied using a pump for plastic cups and fire for the glass cups. It is generally used for the treatment of muscle pain and/or spasms. Cupping may improve blood circulation and induce increased oxygen into the cupped area to accelerate the repair process of damaged tissue (1).
Gua sha involves the scraping of the skin to achieve therapeutic effect. Similar to cupping, it is a manual therapy used to promote blood circulation and inducing an immune response to the treated area.
Tuina is a style of medical massage that focuses on manipulating soft tissue for therapeutic effect. Many techniques are similar to other massage styles with a focus on stretching to increase range of motion and reducing pain.
Therapeutic exercises are used to help develop strength and/or increase flexibility to help reduce and manage pain. Oftentimes they are combined with acupuncture to achieve greater effect.
Herbal medicine may be used as a sole form of treatment but is commonly used along with acupuncture and other therapies. Dr. Vu orders his herbs from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine to ensure herb quality. Patients can pay and pick up the herbs from the college or choose to have them shipped home.
References: 1. li T, Li Y, Lin Y, Li K. Significant and sustaining elevation of blood oxygen induced by Chinese cupping therapy as assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy. Biomed Opt Express. 2017;8(1):223-229.