Bodywork techniques including deep tissue massage, cross-fiber friction, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and Asian bodywork or Tui Na may also be used during treatment when appropriate in addition to acupuncture treatment.
Other techniques that are often commonly used in Chinese medicine include cupping and gua sha. These are massage techniques using tools are are used for many conditions. Cupping is a technique where oxygen is removed from glass cups using either fire or a vacuum pump to create a suction effect on the skin. This lifting effect has the advantage of helping to separate the fascia or connective tissue on the surface of the skin that often becomes adhered to the muscles in an unhealthy way. Cupping also increases blood circulation, stimulates the immune system, and draws any scar tissue closer to the surface of the skin so it can be dispersed. Gua sha is a technique where the surface of the skin is stimulated using tools that resemble anything from a Chinese soup spoon to curved bony pieces. It is used to release muscular tension, stimulate the immune system, and work on acu points. Both cupping and gua sha often leave temporary marks on the skin for anywhere from 3-7 days.