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Acupuncture Non-Needle Techniques and Treatments

Acupuncturists have many tools under their belt to able to treat an array of issues. Using acupuncture needles is just one of many things they can do. Below are many of the other non needle modalities that acupuncturists can use to treat your condition.


Traditional fire cupping involves and uses soaking a cotton ball in an 90% proof alcohol solution. The cotton is held by a forceps and lit with a lighter. In one motion, the lit cotton ball is placed into the cup and quickly removed, while the cup is placed on the skin. The fire heats the inside of the cup and a suction is created by the air cooling down inside the cup. Lotion can be used to create a better seal as well as allow the cups to glide over muscle groups (e.g. trapezius, erectors, latissimus dorsi, etc.) in an act called “moving cupping”. At Balance Within, our acupuncturists in encino specialize in cupping therapy for stiff, tight, and aching muscles. Dark circles sometimes will show on the places cups were used if they are left too long. This can be a good thing. Generally if the cups are moved they dark circles will typically not show.

Gua Sha

A form of Traditional Chinese Medicine where a practitioner uses an object to scrape the patients skin to cause tissue damage. The repair of tissue causes an influx of fresh blood and oxygen into the affected area which in turn causes the area to heal. At Balance Within our encino acupuncturists are gifted in incorporating gua sha into any treatment that consist of pain, stiffness and discomfort. Gua sha is a practice within traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is believed that Gua sha releases unhealthy bodily matter from blood stasis, tired, stiff or injured muscle areas to stimulate new oxygenated blood flow to the areas, thus promoting metabolic cell repair, regeneration, healing and recovery. Gua sha is sometimes referred to as “scraping”, “spooning” or “coining” by English speakers.


This is a type of therapeutic massage where practitioner may brush, knead, roll, press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, to give the patient relief and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles. Our acupuncturists in encino and sherman oaks specialize in tui na massage. Techniques may be gentle or quite firm. The name comes from two of the actions: tui means “to push” and na means “to lift and squeeze.” Other strokes include shaking and oscillating the patient’s body. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, with the stimulation of acupressure points. These techniques are claimed to aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions. This is a non needle technique that can be incorporated into an acupuncture session if the patient desires a treatment without needles.

Stretching and Rehab exercises

This is a style of exercise in which a specific muscles are deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. Our acupuncturists at Balance Within in encino are trained to incorporate specific stretching modalities into your treatments for you to get the maximum potential out of each treatment.  The result after one of our stretching treatments is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

Stretching can be dangerous when performed incorrectly. That’s why it is best done with one of our acupuncturists in encino who specialize in stretching techniques for muscles pain and stiffness.  There are many techniques for stretching in general, but depending on which muscle group is being stretched, some techniques may be ineffective or detrimental, even to the point of causing hyper mobility, instability, or permanent damage to the tendons, ligaments, and muscle fiber.

Estim Therapy

This is considered neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation. This procedure of muscle contraction using electric impulses is usually used in sports medicine. However, at Balance Within our acupuncturists in encino specialize in pain management with or without using acupuncture needles. EMS is generally a non-needle technique for pain management.

EMS can be utilized as a strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes; it could be used as a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients; it could be utilized as a testing tool for evaluating the neural and/or muscular function in vivo; it could be used as a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes.

 The impulses are generated by a device and are delivered through electrodes on the skin near to the muscles being stimulated. However, when used with acupuncture, the acupuncture needles are connected directly to the estim machine. This is very advantageous because the impulse can travel deeper into the muscle, ultimately having a stronger pain relieving affect. Without acupuncture the electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin.

If you have any further questions or concerns about non needle techniques or if acupuncture can help you, please contact our office in and speak to one of our acupuncture specialist in encino to see which modality is right for you.

About Us

Balance Within integrates Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Chiropractic to treat physical and mental conditions using a holistic approach and traditional chinese medicine.  We treat many health issues without the use of harsh chemicals.

Acupuncture works for many health problems, but it does not treat all health issues.

Browse our articles and conditions treated pages to see which health issues are effectively treated by Balance Within Integrative Acupuncture.

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