Stimulation Methods

It does not matter what kind of therapeutic method we employ to help our bodies heal, but we need stimuli in order to obtain a response. When we talk about Acupressure, Massage & Hand Reflex Therapy, we use our own wonderful hands to stimulate the skin, muscles, ligaments, etc. We can also use other methods that may intensify the stimulation and accordingly, a better response can be obtained.

1. Tools:

(a) Smooth and blunt objects (e.g. edge of a pen, knitting needles, sanded tooth-picks, tongue depressors, etc.)

(b) Massage roller, vibrating massager, laser pen, electrical stimulators, etc.

Blunt object
(A smooth blunt tool for pressure application.)
Tongue Depressor used to apply pressure
(Tongue Depressor used to apply pressure)
2. Hot Stimulation

(a) Hot-pad, hot compresses (see "Wonderful egg"), heat lamps

(b) Moxibustion: the Chinese have been using the burning moxi herb roll near the skin area, or direct burning, for at least 4000 years. It is part of acupuncture therapy. To administer this therapy is not very difficult. You need instructions from a professional to teach you how to do it, and in what conditions it is appropriate. (see "Moxibustion" for more details.)

different forms of moxa
(different forms of moxa: moxa sticks and mini moxa pads)

Mini-moxa on palm
(A mini-moxa placed on the palm of the hand)

Commonly used stick of moxa
(A commonly used stick form of moxa.)
3. Cold Stimulation

The most common practice is the use of an ice-pack. (See the "Wonderful egg").
Note: Don't apply the extremely cold object directly on to the skin.

A frozen egg applied as a cold compress
(A frozen egg applied as a cold compress)
4. Cupping
This method causes slight superficial bruising, which activates the body's healing process to remove acute and chronic inflammation or old injury from the congested soft tissue. You need instructions and directions from professionals. Most acupuncturists and Chinese massage practitioners are using this method in combination with other techniques in their own practices. Over-stimulated sites will have very deep and dark bruising, which may not be necessary.
Glass cups for cupping
(Conventional glass cups.)
Flame to create vacuum with glass cups
(A flame is used to create vacuum with glass cups)
Cupping
(Cupping on the back)
Plastic cups
(Plastic cups are also available, with a vacuum creating apparatus.)
Moderate bruising
(A moderate amount of bruising from cupping.)
5. Medicated oils
Usually the oils create certain amounts of heat, which will help improve the local circulation and drainage. It is also quite soothing and relaxing to the muscles. Each kind of oil has special aromas that also help to calm an anxious mind. (See "Damon's AromaRock Therapy" for more detailed applications)
6. Scraping
A specially designed instrument made of water buffalo horn is used to lightly scrape across the tight or inflamed tissue, causing an extensive amount of red markings. A tongue depressor or ceramic spoon can also be used. Oil is added before scraping. This therapy is quite similar to cupping. (See "Dermal Scraping Therapy" for a more detailed look at this technique.)
Ceramic Spoon, Scrapers of bone, Tongue depressor
(Ceramic Spoon, Scrapers made of bone, Tongue depressor)
Scraping
(Scraping on the arm)
Commonly, hands-on manipulation, hot/cold compresses, should be enough to do a good job. Practicing repeatedly is the best key to becoming an expert.