Adjunctive Therapies

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”- Chinese Proverb

Adjunct can mean to “join together” or to “combine,” and adjunctive therapy is an additional or secondary therapy combined with a primary treatment that increases effectiveness in treating a condition. Medical practitioners use adjunctive therapy frequently to get better cure rates or a faster response to primary treatment.

It can take many different forms. Some adjunct therapy involves using more than one medicine to treat something. Other times, several different treatment strategies or types or care are employed simultaneously.

Fire Cupping

Fire Cupping is a technique in which the inside of a small glass cup rapidly flamed and then applied to the skin. The temperature difference between the air inside and outside of the cup generates a vacuum suction that draws fluids and stagnating blood upward that is trapped in knotted or densely compacted muscle and connective tissue. When these fluids stagnate they inflame tissues and cause chronic pain. By drawing it to the surface, those fluids are able to re-entered into circulation, and fresh blood and oxygen are able to return and initiate the healing process. Fire Cupping can be used to treat respiratory diseases, such as the common cold, pneumonia, andbronchitis. Cupping also is used on the back, neck, shoulder, and othermusculoskeletal conditions.  Cupping treatment might result in subcutaneous blemishing, which usually takes 2-4 days to fade.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged tool. The smooth edge is placed against the pre-oiled skin surface, pressed down firmly, and is then moved down the muscles in order to literally push the blood through the muscle, flush it out, and re-align the connective fascia, free of any knotting. Gua Sha intentionally raises petechiae to prevent and treat acute infectious illness, upper respiratory and digestive problems, and many other acute or chronic disorders. It effectively treats chronic pain and tightness, but is not for the faint of heart. Gua Sha treatment might result in subcutaneous blemishing, which usually takes 2-4 days to fade.


Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique that involves burning of the mug-wort herb either in direct or indirect contact with the skin or acupuncture needles in order to warm regions of the body and specific acupuncture points to stimulate and improve the circulation of blood and Qi (vital energy), to facilitate healing, and to maintain general heath.

In TCM, disease and other debilitating conditions are thought to be the result of impaired flow of Qi or energy; resolution of this blockage is required to initiate the healing process. Moxibustion is commonly used to treat colds and other pathologies that are characterized by a lack of circulation. Moxibustion can also reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramps and is often used to treat the symptoms of cancer patients after chemotherapy.

If you are interested in learning more about these techniques and how it can be used to help treat your specific conditions, please contact us (760) 710-7836