TCM Therapies

Along with acupuncture, Annabel may incorporate another Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy if it is suitable for your condition such as Cupping, Tui-Na, Guasha and Moxa.

She will also review your diet and possibly make a suggestion based on what is appropriate for your constitution.


back receiving cupping therapy

Cupping dates back as far as 3500 years. Cupping encourages your own body to restart the healing process, by creating better blood flow and circulation to the area being treated.

Cupping can be used for a wide range of conditions, most commonly used for back and shoulder tension, however, it can also be great for conditions such as colds and respiratory conditions, digestive motility, and stubborn gynaecological conditions. It can have a detoxifying effect, strengthening the immune system.

In cupping, a vacuum is created inside the cup and quickly placed onto the skin where treatment is needed, left in place for anything up to 20 minutes. Cups can either be placed statically in one spot or sometimes sliding cupping is used on larger areas, for tight muscles and tendons.

Cupping is not painful, however, it can leave reddish/purplish circular patches on the skin for around 3-7 days, depending on how much "qi" or "blood stagnation" is present in the area being cupped. The muscles have not been traumatised in any way.

Annabel will alter the strength of the cupping and suction, depending on the condition and constitution of the individual.

Cupping is usually used alongside acupuncture, however, it can also be used as a stand-alone therapy. There are some contraindications so please contact Annabel to discuss more.


woman standing in the forest smiling with eyes closed

Tui-Na is a type of massage practised in China and compliments acupuncture. As well as using hand and finger pressure to resolve the tension in muscles, Annabel uses her knowledge of acupuncture channels and points to help smooth the flow of energy, enabling the healing process. It is different from other styles of massage as it can also be used to support internal imbalances (such as digestive complaints).

Annabel will form a diagnosis and formulate treatment principles unique to the patient, working on the area that requires attention.

The pressure is applied using a variety of hand techniques which can treat a number of conditions and imbalances. The pressure applied varies from gentle to heavy, depending on the needs and comfort level of the patient.

Mostly, Tui-Na is practised with the patient fully clothed to facilitate even movement.


Guasha technique stroking action on the back

Guasha is a technique employed where a stroking action and pressure is applied along the skin with a specialised round-ended instrument. This technique causes small red or purple spots (petechiae) called 'sha' to appear. The skin is not damaged in any way and the redness fades in a few days.

Guasha is used to move blocked "qi" (energy), which is considered to be the main cause of pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.

Annabel will assess whether guasha or cupping is more appropriate for the area being treated.


body receiving the moxibustion method

Moxa is a plant (Artemisia argyi Folium) that is used as a heat source to stimulate acupuncture points, strengthen the qi and nourish the blood. Moxibustion has been used in traditional treatments for over 2000 years in China.

Moxibustion can be used for a number of conditions when appropriate, such as; digestive, musculoskeletal, emotional well-being, fertility support, breech presentation, and is a fantastic therapy after childbirth to warm the mother and replenish her energy and blood.

It comes in different forms and can either be applied directly to the skin, or the area can be heated with a moxa stick.

Chinese Nutrition

basket of apples laid on a field of grass

In Chinese nutrition, food is described in terms of its energetic influence, such as warming, cooling, moving, or neutral. It is thought to have a specific energetic action on the body, where certain foods can have a therapeutic action on the body. A food is said to enter particular meridian pathways, directing its effect towards particular organs. Chinese nutrition aims to keep health, prevent disease, remove illness and slow aging.

A balanced diet is one that includes all 5 tastes; sweet, pungent, salty, sour and bitter. Foods that have a particular taste tend to have particular properties. Each flavour moves the body’s energy in various directions.

A person is described as a combination of certain basic qualities such as Excessive or Deficient, Hot or Cold, Dry or Moist. A person may also be described as having a particular tendency towards imbalance in an organ or element. These constitutional patterns are what determines each person’s best diet and what is right for one person may not work so well for another.

Annabel will discuss your diet with you in the initial consultation and recommend suitable foods for your different nutritional needs.