Cupping is a technique used in conjunction with acupuncture to promote circulation, loosen tight muscles, break adhesions, and encourage the body to flush toxins. It uses suction to adhere cups to your body, which are then either left in place over certain acupuncture points or areas of acute muscle tension, or are moved over a larger area of the body. Cupping often leaves some marks or bruising as a result of the suction which will typically resolve within a week.
Moxibustion (Moxa) uses a Chinese herb called Ai Ye, or mugwort, to apply heat to acupuncture points. This is done in a variety of ways. Sometimes a small piece of the herb is placed directly on the body using a bit of salve to protect the skin from burning. This will be done several times to stimulate a point and deliver heat into a pinpoint location. Moxa can also be applied indirectly by holding a pole of lit moxa over the skin and moving it along a meridian or muscle to treat a broader area.
Asian bodywork including Shiatsu and Sotai techniques may be applied before or after needling as necessary. This can be useful in addressing muscle tension or to prepare the body to receive needles. Shiatsu is similar to acupressure in that it uses manual pressure along the same meridians and points that acupuncture uses. Sotai is a Japanese form of bodywork that is less massage oriented and more about encouraging muscles to release by helping them move in the direction of greatest ease. This helps the body to relax and promotes mobility.