Treatments and tools of the trade
- Many therapies involve therapeutic massage, manual therapy, stretch and traction manipulation, electrotherapy, electric heat pads, diathermy (short-wave frequency electromagnetic) waves and administering ultrasound waves - to topical or related areas.
- Dry needling is a recent addition.
- Active exercise and/or stretching are recommended.
- All therapy focuses on balancing qi - the flow of inner energy and the 'coolness' or 'heat' in a patient. A massage and manipulation system called tui na includes rubbing techniques to generate heat, when necessary.
- Meridians - qi pathways and acupressure or energy points - are also manipulated, sometimes for local benefit but often to conduct relief or benefit to another part of the body, linked by meridians.
- In providing local or corresponding benefits, these are often used: suction cups (for cupping), dried medicinal herb sticks (for moxibustion) and acupuncture needles.