Non-Needle Treatments

When appropriate, we utilize Chinese medicine modalities other than needles to generate healing. Young children generally receive Japanese Shonishin, or at least very minimal, brief needling. Read more about other modalities below.



Cupping is like a very deep tissue massage.  Heat or fire creates a vacuum effect inside of a glass cup, which draws the skin up into the cup when placed on the body. The result is a movement of fresh blood to the area, release of toxins, acupuncture point stimulation, increased circulation of blood and lymph, relaxation of tight muscles and reduced inflammation. It often leaves circular red/purple marks (sha) on the area treated. These marks should fade in a few days, but it is very important to keep these areas away from the sun, wind and cold.

What is cupping good for?

  • Pain
  • Muscle tension from stress
  • Paralysis
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Gynecological disorders such as cramps and infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Colds and allergies
  • Chronic cough & asthma, lung issue

Shonishin Pediatric Treatments

More commonly known as pediatric acupuncture, though typically no needles are used and nothing actually penetrates the skin, Shonishin literally translates as sho "little", ni "children", and shin"needle".

Tracing its roots back to 17th century Osaka in Japan, this specialized acupuncture technique was developed specifically for infants and children up to the age of seven. Shonishin offers a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals in the treatment of childhood health problems. It has been used with some success in treating infants and children afflicted with a wide variety of conditions, including colic, indigestion, GERD, constipation, and diarrhea. It has even shown some success in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), allergies, asthma, eczema, hives, bedwetting, and stuttering. Children as young as one month old have been effectively treated.

Shoshinin's gentle, non-invasive treatment techniques involve non-inserted tools-- the enshin, the teishin and the zanshin. Experienced practitioners rhythmically stroke, rub, tap and press the skin to produce a variety of gentle stimulation sensations. Rounded tools, including rods of stone, shell, silver, or gold, are typically used. These techniques serve to harmonize and boost a child's vital energy.

There are many variables to consider in the application of Shonishin treatment. The frequency, dosage and strength of therapy, for example, will depend on the individual practitioner, as well as the age, health or illness of the child. Keep in mind that a child's treatments will usually be short in duration, generally taking only one to five minutes-with older children usually requiring longer treatments. Shonishin is administered quickly, usually within 15-20 minutes, and is typically performed with the child clothed or just wearing a diaper. The technique is most effective when given several times per week until the symptoms are alleviated. Once the primary health concern is addressed, treatments may continue on a limited protracted basis to prevent recurrence. While initial treatments are administered only by skilled acupuncturists, many procedures can be performed by the child's parents at home (a silver teaspoon makes an ideal home-based Shonishin tool). The techniques are quickly and easily learned, allowing parents to perform daily treatments between visits.

Regardless of treatment type or length, practitioners frequently develop a kind and gentle rapport with the child. In fact, regular Shonishin treatments help strengthen the parent-child relationship and can improve the spiritual and emotional development of the child. Regular daily preventative massage done by the parents may increase circulation of qi and blood, and may strengthen the child's immune system. The soothing, relaxing massage can also improve sleeping and eating habits. In some cases, Shonishin can even help children to be more sociable and better disposed.

Regardless of your child's medical condition, Shonishin should only be administered after you have consulted your medical doctor.




Moxa, short for Moxibustion, is the burning of Artemisia vulgaris, or mugwort, at specific acupuncture points of the body. It is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs in the world. The moxa is often formed it into a small cone and placed on the tip of a needle or on a clay ring above the skin. Rolled versions of moxa allow for a larger are to be treated at once. The radiant heat produced by moxibustion penetrates deeply into the body to restore balance, promote circulation, and reduce pain. What is it used for?

  • In pregnancy it is used to help turn a breech presentation into a more proper head down presentation for birth!
  • Relieving pain & moving circulation
  • Improving allergies and immunity
  • Alleviating stinging/itching/discomfort from insect bites and many dermatological issues
  • It is quite helpful for those who are weak, fatigued, or chronically ill, and those with menstrual or digestive disorders.


    Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture

    Auricular acupuncture involves the stimulation of the acupoints located on the ear with tiny seeds or pellets. The seeds are no larger than the tip of an unsharpened pencil, do not pierce the skin, and are painless when affixed. The seeds are left in for up to 1 week and the points are activated by massaging the ear several times each day.

    There are over 200 acupoints on each ear that represent the anatomical parts and functions of the human body. By observing points of tenderness, coloration changes, protrusions or depressions, and skin variations, a trained practitioner can not only treat a wide range of diseases using only the ear, but can diagnose them as well. When we stimulate these points we access the central nervous system through the cranial nerves on the auricle of the ear. This sends a direct message to the brain that results in a healing response.

    This therapy is most often used for addiction, smoking cessation, and weight loss. It is also often utilized for back pain during pregnancy.



    Acupressure is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the stimulation of acupuncture points with finger pressure, rather than inserting needles. This form of healing is non-invasive and gentle. The indications include the vast array of conditions that Chinese medicine has proven to treat effectively. Because acupressure stimulates the body’s natural self-healing abilities, it also works as a great preventative therapy. Generally, the effects of acupressure are less potent than those of acupuncture, and as a result more treatments are needed to get the same results. Acupressure is ideal for children. It is gentle, safe, and effective for many conditions. Parents can also be taught self-help techniques to use on their child at home. Acupressure is also suitable for the elderly suffering from sciatica, arthritis, mobility problems, constipation, and poor circulation. Certain acupressure points must be avoided during pregnancy. Be sure to tell your practitioner if you are or may be pregnant