Acupuncture Tools

Moxa on needle 3

The three main tools I use are the needle, the cup and the moxa stick, these are considered to be the holy trinity of acupuncture.

The needle is the most versatile tool, by varying the depth of penetration, the location, the angle, the needle technique and the combination of points, different effects can be achieved. Many people consider themselves to be at least somewhat needle-phobic; all of these needle-phobic patients I have treated have been surprised and relieved at how fine acupuncture needles are.

It seems as though most of these fears stem from bad experiences with hypodermic needles. The acupuncture needle slides in between the fibres and is a wholly different

experience. It?s usual that patients have different qi sensations, some find it deeply pleasurable, some fall asleep almost immediately, and some report feelings of electricity in the body.

In traditional fire cupping, a flame is placed inside a cup to expand the air inside before it is quickly placed on the skin. As the air quickly cools and contracts, it creates a vacuum which sucks the skin and creates a seal. Cupping creates the unique action of pulling the musculature away from the bone, as opposed to pushing the muscle into the bone as with traditional massage. Cupping is used for a wide variety of ailments. Most people describe cupping as being very pleasurable and effective at smoothing out muscle tissue, promoting circulation and easing those surface aches and pains.

The word Moxa comes from the Japanese word Mogusa which means Mugwort. Moxibustion is the act of burning dried Mugwort on or near to the surface of the skin. Moxa burns very hot; it is only recently that the healing mechanism of moxa has been understood. The relaxing and healing qualities of heat are long established, but pale in comparison to the effects of burning moxa. When moxa is burnt, it releases a very specific wavelength of light in the non-visible spectrum which directly interacts with our cells; the heat is purely an additional benefit. Moxibustion affects the qi of the body in a similar way to needles; it promotes energy flow and healing and is a very pleasurable and relaxing experience.


Nick is a proud member of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ATCM). The Association is the largest regulatory body of traditional Chinese medicine in the UK, with over 700 professional members. All practitioners are fully qualified and adhere strictly to professional standards set out in the Code of Professional Conduct and the Code of Practice.