Cupping Therapy for Weight Loss

Many acupuncturists use cupping as a part of their daily practice and with the popularization of cupping by the 2016 American Olympic Swim team patients are requesting this therapy more frequently.  When we discuss the benefits of cupping we always remember to mention circulation, reduction of inflammation, detoxifying effects, however far too often we overlook the benefits of cupping as a tool for weight loss.  
When we gain weight our fat cells increase in size, not number and the capillaries can struggle to keep up with increasing tissue mass, this means that fatty areas are not areas of high circulation.  Cupping over these areas forces blood flow through the adipose (fat) tissue and as the blood is circulating it is able to break down the contents of the fat cells into usable energy and eliminate any toxins that are stored.  Cupping for weight loss often causes the patient to eliminate dampness via increased sweating or increased urination and can be done in combination with an acupuncture treatment. 
Cupping for weight loss can be done on the abdomen, over points such as ST 25 or CV 12 as well as on the thighs or other problem areas.  Make sure to always screen patients for contraindications and practice clean needle and safety protocol at all times.  

Member of The Month - Laura Kirstine

NSAA is proud this month to celebrate our new acting president Laura Kirstine.  
Prior to studying acupuncture and TCM Laura earned an Honors Specialization in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Western Ontario.  She practices Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Ohana Health and Wellness in Halifax.  Although Laura does treat a wide variety of conditions her primary focus is in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.  
Laura is also a Reiki Master and uses vibrational sound therapy to heal imbalances in chakras and spent time last month in Sedona furthering her training in Acutonics as well as obtaining certification in Biofield Tuning.  
Laura enjoys teaching workshops to practitioners from different fields throughout the year.


Blood Letting for Allergies

With spring well on its way many Acupuncturists are dealing with the annual influx of seasonal allergies.  A widely underutilized treatment for hives and itching associated with seasonal allergies involves the use of the Jing Well Point of the Lung Channel.  
Lung 11 or Lesser Shang is the Jing Well and Wood point of the Lung channel as well as one of the thirteen Ghost Points.  The primary functions of LU 11 are to revive consciousness and clear heat, the use of LU 11 to clear wind heat associated with allergic reactions is strongest when the point is pricked to bleed.  
As the throat is the furthest reach of the lung channel, LU 11 being the Jing Well point of the lung has the strongest effect on clearing heat from the throat.  This is particularly effective in cases such as allergic reaction, cold or flu due to wind heat invasion, mumps, and tonsillitis.  Bleeding LU 11 also has a very strong effect in treating allergic reactions manifesting in the skin such as chronic or acute hives.  
The point can be located on the radial corner of the thumb nail and once pricked by a lancet or three edge needle it is best if the thumb is then squeezed and the drops of blood wiped away by an alcohol swab.  The squeezing should be repeated until the point no longer bleeds.  
This is a very strong treatment to clear heat and although it is extremely useful in the clinic it is important to note that this must not be used in cases of empty heat or in cases with yin and/or blood deficiency.  Patients will notice immediate results following treatment. 
As with every treatment protocol it is important to utilize proper clean needle technique and to dispose of medical waste appropriately especially when contaminated with blood.  Please ensure your patients seek the care of a western Medical Doctor when needed.