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Guiding Needle Acupuncture

A Natural, Effective, Safe & Drug Free Alternative


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The Education Behind Your Licensed Alberta Acupuncturist

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on May 6, 2018 at 3:40 PM

As per the Government Organization Act, Schedule 7.1, acupuncture is a restricted activity. Performing acupuncture without appropriate authorization is a breach of the Government Organization Act.  Many people do not realize the hours of education and training required to become a licensed acupuncturist; its not a weekend course. Education is the very cornerstone and foundation upon which a profession is built.  Any job in the health field comes with responsibility, and only those that have completed the necessary education are equipped to accurately and safely administer treatment; most people wouldn’t go to a doctor that didn’t attend medical school, and it’s no different with acupuncture. Dr. of Acupuncture is a title for registered acupuncturists in Alberta.  

To be an acupuncturist is a privilege, it is an intricate practice, requiring discipline along with many responsibilities; to provide the right services for Albertans’ health and wellness.  Given acupuncture’s potential to assist the human body to heal so many ailments, acupuncturists need to be very familiar with the body’s systems and be well-versed on the strategic placement of needles to access these systems. The requirments of education and training required to become a registered acupuncturist are unlike similar holistic practices that only require a certification. Acupuncture licensing requires an acupuncture diploma program that includes many hours of in-depth classes.

In Alberta, acupuncture education is typically a three-year, full-time duration college program, approved by the Acupuncture Committee of Alberta, Alberta Health and Wellness. Programs include courses on various topics like fundamental theories of traditional Chinese medicine, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, diagnostics of traditional Chinese medicine, pathology, pharmacology, herbology, tui na, clinical observation, acupuncture and moxibustion. Other topics covered include internal traditional Chinese medicine, external traditional Chinese medicine, Western medical terminology, Western medical diagnostics, special clinical case studies, traditional Chinese medicine gynecology, pediatrics, integration of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. A course on Clean Needle Technique is also required. Typically acupuncture students will complete over 2668 hours of didactic course work and 904 clinical hours of hands-on training with many schools requiring more of each.


Upon completion graduates may apply for a license with the respected governing body. The profession of acupuncture has been regulated in Alberta since 1988 under the Health Disciplines Act and the Acupuncture Regulation. It used to be regulated by the Acupuncture Committee under the Health Disciplines Board. Effective January 1, 2011, the College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta, the “CAAA” was designated by the Minister of Health to regulate the acupuncture profession in public interest. The vision of the CAAA is to serve the public interest and support the acupuncture profession by setting high standards of practice, education, competence and ethical conduct. 

To obtain a license, successful completion of the Alberta Acupuncture Registration Examination (AARE) is an important requirement to be registered as an acupuncturist. The purpose of the AARE is to ensure applicants for registration meet the entry-level standards to practise safely and competently in Alberta. Currently, the AARE consists of five components: 1) Pan-Canadian Written Examination. 2) Pan-Canadian Clinical Case-study Examination. 3) Safety and Jurisprudence Examination. 4) Modalities Examination. 5) Acupuncture Points Examination. 

Registered acupuncturists in Alberta complete ongoing Continuing Education Programs to ensure professional competency and provide quality services to the public.  As such, each applicant for registration renewal is required to have completed 50 hours of continuing education program and has worked as an acupuncturist for at least 1360 hours within the 2 years immediately preceding the date of application for registration renewal, in addition to other requirements prescribed in the Acupuncture Regulation.


Registered acupuncturists have the experience, knowledge and passion for the job as a result of their strenuous training. The extensive process of becoming licensed provides acupuncturists with the expertise to skillfully guide their clients down the best path to better health and well-being.

Thomas Nerbas is a registered acupuncturist in St. Albert, Alberta dedicated to ensuring his patients receive top-quality acupuncture and traditional Chinese medical care.  Discover how holistic acupuncture treatments address not only the symptoms, but also the primary cause of disease. Guiding Needle Acupuncture solutions are safe, non-toxic and work in a way that respects you as an individual.

Resolving The Underlying Root Cause Of Disease

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on January 12, 2018 at 10:10 AM

Upon careful observation of the iceberg analogy shown above. A symptom (iceberg tip above the water) is a message that there is something wrong. The underlying disease process (iceberg hidden under the surface) is the root cause of disease.

A symptom and a disease are not the same thing. For example the symptom “infertility” can occur when a disease pattern causes a breakdown in body function, where the body is struggling to be able to conceive and carry to full term. The root cause of the health concern is the disease pattern that underlies the symptom.

Common disease patterns include: external, internal, cold, heat, deficiency, and excess.

A disease pattern is called external if physical, chemical, environmental trauma; wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, fire, dryness, a pathogen have been contracted from an external source.


It can be called internal if the interior of the body system has been harmed by prolonged emotional imbalance of either; shock, joy, worry, pensiveness, sadness, grief, anxiety, fear, anger, exhaustion, and greed. Internal imbalance also results from chemical stress and malnutrition via toxic food and drink.


Cold is a yin syndrome that manifests as either internal cold or external cold. In most cases, cold indicates deficiency.


Heat is a yang syndrome that manifests as either internal heat or external heat. In most cases, heat indicates excess.


Deficiency means that the patient does not have enough Righteous Qi (zheng qi), and in most cases where the disease pattern goes from the inside out there is deficiency.


Excess means that there is an overabundance of noxious Qi, and in most cases where the disease goes from outside in there is excess.


Treating the symptom “infertility” without addressing and resolving the underlying root cause disease pattern can continue to degenerate the body, causing additional problems.


Through pulse, tongue, palm and body diagnosis; the unseen disease process can be observed and comprehended. The disease process is changeable with acupuncture, cupping, nutritional, herbal, lifestyle intervention; stimulating and reinforcing the body’s own innate self healing, restoring balanced nerve supply, systemic circulation, muscle relaxation, joint mobility, organ and body function.


Symptoms do not exist when optimal body functioning occurs.


Eliminate unnecessary tension and pain. Restore full joint mobility range of motion and overall strength. Dr. Thomas Nerbas offers a comprehensive complimentary 60 minute initial acupuncture assessment for new patients in order to determine the root cause of discomfort along with wellness solutions restoring body function. Enjoy the convenience of scheduling appointments online in real-time, 24/7 at

Do you experience immediate results after acupuncture needle insertion?

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on January 5, 2018 at 1:30 AM

Classical Chinese acupuncture can yield strong and immediate results!


Dr. Thomas Nerbas employs the classical way to diagnose and treat patients using acupuncture, which typically achieves immediate results.

Do you experience immediate results after acupuncture needle insertion?


Classical Chinese acupuncture texts describe the effectiveness of an acupuncture treatment with the phrase: "Li Gan Jian Ying" which translates as: "stand the pole, and see the shadow." When you stand a pole under the sun, you will immediately see its shadow. Dr. Thomas Nerbas emphasizes that likewise, classical acupuncturists will see immediate results after the insertion of their correctly placed acupuncture needles. Dr. Thomas Nerbas is known in the acupuncture community as the practitioner who gets "instant results".

What makes Guiding Needle Acupuncture methods unique? Dr. Thomas Nerbas specializes in classical channel theory as well as a hologram system of imaging and mirroring acupuncture techniques, offering the added benefits of:

1. No need to disrobe.

2. Less time needed to prepare for the treatment.

3. Effective, sustainable pain relief immediately following needle insertion.

4. Acupuncture treatments typically result in 50+% pain elimination in 30 seconds after correct needle insertion.

5. Treatments are preventative, functional medicine (to avert the danger that’s not yet come).

6. Offering repeatable results, and joint mobility during treatments because pain is not treated at local traumatized, injured, or painful areas. All needles are placed at distal points for powerful treatments that won't aggravate pain.


7. On average, clinical efficacy results in an 80-90+% pain elimination success rate.

8. Frequent treatments yield the best results and allow patients to recover much faster via stabilization care (pain does not return) which is beyond relief care (pain goes away).


9. Effective treatments are simple, quick and powerful.

Experience a holistic integrative medical approach to feeling better. Your body produces millions of healing substances and knows exactly how to use them. Acupuncture is the most advanced technique for modulating the nervous system which controls and coordinates every function of the body; directing your own innate healing and transformation.

Strengthen your wellness with the aid of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine services with Thomas; begin by scheduling a comprehensive initial acupuncture assessment/treatment online in real-time, 24/7 at

Effective Solutions To Help Your Body Handle Stress

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on December 17, 2017 at 12:45 PM

Guiding Needle Acupuncture offers effective solutions to help your body handle stress. Read on to learn what you can do to improve body function and manage stress proactively.

When the environment is hostile to the body due to physical, chemical, and emotional stress; the body naturally reacts with either fighting or escaping the hostile stresses. Fight or flight reactions stimulate the adrenal glands to secrete adrenal hormones to prepare the body for a temporary emergency. The adrenals are famous for secretion of adrenaline, they also secrete fifty other hormones such as norepinephrine, cortisol, and DHEA...These hormones have an effect on nearly all bodily functions. Adrenaline is a natural vasoconstrictor which makes blood flow toward your muscles, your heart, and brain, and suppresses blood flow to the skin and digestive tract to help you fight and run.

Prolonged reoccurring stress causes the adrenal glands to continue secreting hormones; the secretion of norepinephrine shuts down the digestive tract because you don't require digesting food when under attack, so the body causes either immediate elimination or stops digestion. The results of long-term stress can include constipation, diarrhea or other digestive problems. More than 50% of your protein intake, B vitamins and vitamin C are not absorbed while under the influence of stress.

The adrenal hormone cortisol suppresses the immune system causing more susceptibility to pathogenic invasion. Cortisol can also affect the hormonal rhythm that leads to restorative sleep. When the body is under stress, it tries to keep you awake. Your altered cortisol levels can cause abnormal sleep behaviour such as difficulty falling asleep, restless sleep, irregular waking, light sleep.

The adrenal hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a precursor for testosterone, progesterone and the estrogens. DHEA antagonizes the effects of cortisol; like with every major control system in the body, cortisol and DHEA work through their alternating, dualistic balance. DHEA is a very powerful anti-aging hormone. Low levels of DHEA are found among those with alzheimer's, poor memory, poor cognition, poor brain function, bone and collagen loss, poor detoxification, diabetes, depression, hypothyroidism, suppressed immunity, endocrine hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue.

Long-term stress can affect DHEA levels and lead to PMS, menopausal symptoms, hormonal imbalances, and a host of reproductive problems.

Periods of intense or lengthy physical, chemical, emotional stress can cause the adrenal glands to become exhausted and weak functionally. When the adrenal glands become unable to meet your body's demands you can have a condition known as adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion.

Acupuncture promotes deep relaxation by activating the body’s parasympathetic nervous system; “rest, digest and recover” functions. Reaching this state is essential to restoring as well as maintaining robust health and vitality. That's why Dr. Thomas Nerbas recommends scheduling regular proactive acupuncture as part of your wellness plan.

Experience a holistic integrative medical approach to feeling better. Your body produces millions of healing substances and knows exactly how to use them. Acupuncture is the most advanced technique for modulating the nervous system which controls and coordinates every function of the body; directing your own innate healing and transformation.

To determine adrenal function, Dr. Thomas Nerbas employs Ragland's test; using blood pressure measurements taken lying down and standing. If you suspect that you have adrenal fatigue, reserve a complimentary acupuncture assessment with Dr. Thomas Nerbas today.

Enjoy the convenience of scheduling your appointments online in real-time, 24/7 at

Is Acupuncture Safe During Pregnancy?

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on December 16, 2017 at 7:05 PM

Dr. Thomas Nerbas is a licensed acupuncturist educated in the inner tradition of Chinese medicine, routinely supporting women through all stages of pregnancy. During pregnancy certain acupuncture points are helpful, while certain acupuncture points are avoided. Some acupuncture points on the hands, trapezius, the lower leg, ankle, and low back are contraindicated during the majority of pregnancy. It’s important to let Thomas know if you are pregnant, or if you think you might be, so that contraindicated points are avoided.

Common Conditions Acupuncture Helps With During Pregnancy

Acupuncture can help support pregnant women through uncomfortable conditions such as: morning sickness, heartburn, fatigue, insomnia, pelvic floor pain, back pain, ligament pain, systemic swelling, premature cervical ripening, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), constipation, and gestational diabetes. If you are experiencing any of these or other pregnancy side effects, let Thomas know so that your treatments can be custom tailored accordingly.

When Is The Best Time To Begin Acupuncture For Pregnancy?

Acupuncture holistically assists moms maintain ideal systemic functioning through all stages of pregnancy. For those pursuing natural options to overcome fertility challenges; acupuncture on its own and in combination with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has been shown to assist women achieve healthy pregnancy.

If you are presently pregnant, its advantageous to receive acupuncture as soon as possible to help temper morning sickness and first-trimester symptoms. In a healthy pregnancy, you may only need acupuncture every 7th day as corrective care or once a month as proactive wellness care, to ensure everything is balanced and flowing smoothly. 

If you have experienced a loss of pregnancy in the past, frequent treatments as often as every second or third day may be recommended, especially during the first trimester. This frequency ensures reinforcing the sustained support required to keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced over the course of your pregnancy. Toward the end of any pregnancy, at about the 37th week, treatments may be every 7th day.

Can Acupuncture Help Prepare Women For Labor?

Acupuncture can help prepare pregnant mothers for labor and delivery. A study has confirmed that acupuncture supports shorter labor and more third trimester cervical ripening:

There was some evidence of a change in cervical maturation for women receiving acupuncture compared with the sham control (1).

Research demonstrates that acupuncture is safe and effective for reducing the time needed to deliver a baby. Researchers from the China Meitan General Hospital conclude: 

Electroacupuncture shortened both the active phase and the latent phase of the first stage of labor. As a result, the researchers conclude that acupuncture is a safe and effective method for shortening the duration of the first stage of labor (2).

Overwhelm and stress are the biggest factors that women battle during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Acupuncture can help significantly with reducing stress and anxiety in these moments. Acupuncture promotes deep relaxation by activating the body’s parasympathetic nervous system; “rest, digest and recover” functions. Reaching this state is essential to restoring as well as maintaining robust health and vitality. That's why Dr. Thomas Nerbas recommends scheduling regular proactive acupuncture as part of your personal wellness care plan.

Is Ongoing Acupuncture Recommended After Delivery?

Proactive acupuncture after delivery is really important. Fatigue, poor metabolism and depression are common symptoms after delivery. Regular acupuncture visits are great for helping moms recover and regain their strength after giving birth. Best success goes to all the moms who embark on the exciting adventure of motherhood!


1. Smith, C. A., Crowther, C. A., & Grant, S. J. (2013). Acupuncture for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 8, CD002962. 

2. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 May;32(5):409-12. Clinical observation of the impacts and safety of electroacupuncture at Sanyinjiao (SP 6) on labor]. Liu YL, Jin ZG. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Meitan General Hospital, Beijing, China. Article in Chinese.

Attain & Maintain Emotional Wellness

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on December 8, 2017 at 12:15 PM

The human body is absolutely miraculous, it has the ability to hold and release physical, chemical, emotional stress and trauma. Unresolved, unexpressed, stagnant, ignored, repressed, denied stress and trauma can be stored in the human physiology and when left untreated can eventually turn into disease.

When emotions are appropriately expressed through virtue, disease does not occur. Each organ, nervous system pathway and circulatory system pathway corresponds with a virtue as follows:

The heart, small intestine, triple energizer, pericardium express propriety. The stomach, spleen, pancreas express integrity. The lung, large intestine express righteousness. The kidneys, urinary bladder express wisdom. The liver, gallbladder express benevolence.

As a given virtue erodes, an habitually occurring behaviour arises depending on the presence of an excess or deficient emotion. Each organ, nervous system and circulatory system pathway corresponds with an emotion as follows:

The heart, small intestine, triple energizer, pericardium display the emotion of joy, when in excess; control is the habitual behaviour that arises and when deficient; chaos is the habitual behaviour that arises.


When imbalanced the stomach, spleen, pancreas display the emotion of sympathy, when in excess; self-indulgence is the habitual behaviour that arises and when deficient; ingratiation is the habitual behaviour that arises.


When imbalanced the lung, large intestine display the emotion of grief, when in excess; gain is the habitual behaviour that arises and when deficient; loss is the habitual behaviour that arises.


When imbalanced the kidneys, urinary bladder display the emotion of fear, when in excess; conservativeness is the habitual behaviour that arises and when deficient; recklessness is the habitual behaviour that arises.


When imbalanced the liver, gallbladder display the emotion of anger, when in excess; belligerence is the habitual behaviour that arises and when deficient; timidity is the habitual behaviour that arises.


The focus of Oriental medicine assists in supporting balance within all organ systems, the peripheral and central nervous system, circulatory system pathways to enhance constructive emotional expression, proper organ function, stress management and ultimately disease prevention.


Acupuncture works to connect the brain receptors to the location of the body's injury; restoring nerve supply while optimizing the body's own highly oxygenated, nutrient rich blood circulation; promoting systemic balance and harmony.


Where there is pain, there is lack of circulation, where there is circulation, there is no pain. All the healing agents of the body are found in the blood. When there is an obstruction in the flow of blood to a particular area of the body, that area will be negatively affected, resulting in malfunction. Any area of the body that is damaged due to a trauma or an internal disorder will have difficulty recovering if there is a reduction in the flow of blood to that area. In order to attain and maintain optimum wellness; the unimpeded circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood must be delivered to the tissues. Proper functioning of the vascular system, organ systems, nervous system allow this process to occur successfully.


If you experience emotional imbalance, acute discomfort or chronic pain that is lingering or is not being treated by other modalities, consider acupuncture. Treatments focus on the root cause of any uncomfortable symptoms and prevention to strengthen wellness.


The various acupuncture methods that Dr. Thomas Nerbas employs stimulate the body's own neurological self-healing responses upon strategic needle insertion. Points often used include locations of the scalp, face, ears, abdomen, from the shoulders to the fingers, and from the thighs to the toes. These areas can be accessed with comfortable loose fitting clothing on; participants are not required to disrobe. The treatments are efficient, comfortable and extremely effective.


Are you new to acupuncture? Reserve a complimentary acupuncture assessment with Dr. Thomas Nerbas today. Enjoy the convenience of scheduling acupuncture and fire cupping appointments online in real-time, 24/7 at

3 Unique Steps To Robust Health & Vitality

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on December 6, 2017 at 11:45 AM


During this stage, Dr. Thomas Nerbas is concerned with alleviating the symptoms causing you to seek his care. Once your symptoms are relieved, you will move on to Step 2, Corrective Care.

Using a garden analogy, think of replenishing an overgrown garden. The first step in cultivating the space is to cut back excess growth and weeds. Your symptoms are very much like the weeds.


In order to restore your robust health and vitality, Dr. Thomas Nerbas must also determine the underlying cause of your illness, rather than simply address the symptoms. This involves a secondary treatment uniquely positioned and carefully prescribed to address the root of your concerns. Often, patients enjoy the second treatment phase for weeks to months; relative to illness severity.

Continuing the garden analogy, we now must take complete care to remove the weeds from the soil and prepare the soil for new seeds to plant. Using appropriate tools, the roots are extracted, leaving healthy plants and rich earth behind. Step 2 heals what is creating and causing your pain and discomfort, setting the stage for healthy living.


The final phase of your treatment includes Maintenance Therapy. Dr. Thomas Nerbas will prescribe proactive treatment to reinforce your ideal nerve supply, blood and body fluid circulation. In order to keep your immune system strong and healthy, so it will protect the body as it should. The final phase of treatment is ongoing. After all, a relapse is simply unacceptable when such high-quality treatments are so readily available.

In our garden analogy, this means the soil of our reclaimed garden is fertilized and treated to prevent the return of weeds, while building a healthy foundation to support the growth and development of beautiful plants and flowers. What this means for you is that your overall health and vitality is protected by reinforcing treatments, just as the garden is protected and nourished to thrive.

The rate at which you move through these stages depends on your unique situation. A good rule of thumb is one month of care for every year you have had a certain medical condition.

Are you new to acupuncture? First time patients receive a free of charge 60 minute thorough acupuncture assessment.

Reserve a complimentary acupuncture assessment with me today. Enjoy the convenience of scheduling acupuncture and fire cupping appointments online in real-time, 24/7 at

Resolve Aggressive Energy (AE)

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on March 25, 2017 at 10:50 AM

Aggressive energy (AE) is a condition that occurs when the vital energy of one or more organs or functions is polluted and becomes a destructive, attacking force when energetic and functional imbalance occurs. For example: when a pathologically overcontrolling "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system response becomes dominant, it suppresses the parasympathetic nervous system "rest and digest” function, preventing the digestion of food, if this situation is unresolved, prolonged and ongoing; excess leads to deficiency.

AE can be generated internally after experiencing: 1) Relentless or overwhelming physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual stressors beyond what a person can manage. 2) Ceaseless illness that aggravate a person relentlessly, overwhelming an organ or function.

AE can be contracted externally after experiencing: 1) Exposure to prolonged toxicity including, but not limited to prescription drugs, recreational drugs, and severe environmental toxicity of air, food and water. 2) Exposure to external pathogens in the environment such as cold, wind, heat, dryness, damp. 3) Exposure to situations and places of trauma or in interactions with another person who has AE. 4) Combinations of the above.

AE is a pernicious influence that can be generated internally by the mind projecting the source of its pain outward rather than resolving the inner issues on which suffering is based, causing emotions to stagnate with internal friction and heat, with the result that they fulminate and become toxic. Pathological emotional states often result with a deviant type of behaviour such as addiction. In every instance, addictions are compensatory behaviors that dysfunctionally enable a person to avoid cultivating virtue and avoid taking responsibility for one's own suffering. Clearing AE can help release the force out of the addictive behavior long enough to catch a glimpse of what life is like without it.

Patients who test positive for AE are given acupuncture treatment to drain the presence of AE through superficial needling on the back. After successfully clearing AE, a person’s entire system can finally allow him or her to relax, the true self may shine through as if the clouds have cleared and the sun that has always been present, is now unobscured and illuminating.

Thomas encourages proactive medicine wellness care. Need a check up? How is the quality and quantity of your sleep? What is the quantity and quality of your energy throughout the day? Do you experience muscle tension or pain anywhere in your body? Do you feel emotionally balanced? Are you managing stress well? Are you enjoying regular comprehensive wellness care?

Thomas is offering first time patients a free of charge 60 minute comprehensive acupuncture assessment. Conveniently schedule your acupuncture assessment online today!

Typically Experience Improvement After Only One Or Two Treatments

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on April 2, 2014 at 12:05 PM

A large percentage of North America experiences pain, fatigue, excessive stress, toxic environmental conditions, nutrient deficient, chronic related lifestyle preventable diseases; Tung style acupuncture is perfectly situated to heal and prevent these pathologies. Most of the common issues Dr. Thomas Nerbas observes are long term duration chronic issues that are insidious in nature. Since 2009 Thomas has been employing the needling techniques of Master Tung Ching-Chang which are perfectly adapted for these types of diseases.

The Tung family system of acupuncture composes 740 acupuncture points. Some of these points lie on or are the same acupuncture points mandated by the People's Republic of China consisting of 365 common acupuncture points and hundreds of others have been “discovered” by the Tung family thus making this style very unique and effective. Master Tung discovered that “chronic illness” gave rise to Bi Zheng (rheumatism/pain/systemic chronic disease). Master Tung treated “chronic illness’s” not with just one needle here or there, but organized his family points into groups of 2 or more needles in close proximity to each other along the channel/vessel. Master Tung concluded that just one needle on a channel was not enough to clear chronic or systemic illness’s.

Thomas is grateful for the opportunity to successfully employ advanced Tung's style acupuncture for hundreds of patient visits annually, cultivating clinical efficacy and insight to better serve his patients. Thank you for choosing Dr. Thomas Nerbas as your acupuncture provider; consciously assisting and promoting your total body wellness.

The Ancient Art Of Cupping

Posted by Thomas Nerbas on December 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM

In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, cupping has been used for over 2,500 years by acupuncturists and therapists in many cultures including the Chinese, the Egyptians and Greeks. Cupping eventually spread to many countries of Europe and is now employed worldwide.  Originally, animal horn was used for cupping, eventually bamboo cups were used and today, we use glass cups in a variety of different sizes. 

Cupping is a suction technique designed to pull toxin build-up and muscle spasm from the body’s deeper tissue to the surface of the skin for elimination. The result is relaxation of tight muscles, reduced inflammation, acupuncture point stimulation, a release of toxins, increased circulation of blood and lymph, movement of fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrition to the area.


Cupping is diagnostic as well as therapeutic, and can tell us three basic things:

First, cupping tells us exactly where the problem is, as we usually cup an area slightly larger than the painful region, in order to ensure that the pain is completely covered. Some skin under the cups will colour, and some won’t, although the same amount of suction has been used with all cups. Even on the skin under a single cup, one part may colour while the rest may not.These coloured areas help us identify the sources of pain and discomfort.


Second, cupping tells us the kind of problem with which we are dealing, as problems relating to toxin build-up or muscle spasm will cause the skin under the cup to colour, whereas issues dealing with nerve or bone will not colour at all. 


Third, cupping shows us the severity of the problem. Light or moderate blockage will cause the skin under a cup to colour pink or red, and it will take a day or two for this colour to fade. Severe stagnation can cause the skin to colour a deep scarlet, purple, or even black; it may take seven to ten days for the dark colour to disperse. All of this information is helpful not only in treating the patient, but in making an accurate diagnosis.


With muscle and tissue tension present, the cupping sensation can be a bit uncomfortable for the first sixty seconds, the time during which most of the toxins are removed. The discomfort usually eases after sixty seconds. Cups rarely need to be applied for more than ten minutes. If no colour appears after a few minutes, cups can be removed and placed elsewhere on the body. Cupping is an extraordinary technique, and its effects are immediate. The healing process may be shortened by weeks or even months by using cupping therapy.


The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping loosens stiff muscles and fascia tension resolving neck pain, back pain, headaches, and other pain anywhere in the body. It promotes blood flow and sedates the nervous system; making it an effective treatment for high blood pressure and anxiety. This treatment is valuable for the lungs to enhance tissue oxygenation; clearing congestion, cough, bronchitis and the like. Resolving blockages with cupping enhances oxygen metabolism which results in improved energy and mobility.

Cupping is one of the best deep tissue therapies available; affecting tissues up to four inches deep from the skin surface. Cupping removes circulatory interference allowing release of toxins, reducing inflammation and enhancing lymph circulation to enhance immune function. Increasing a movement of fresh blood improves oxygen and nutrition transfer to the area. Promoting circulation with cupping eliminates menstrual problems, digestive problems including stomach aches, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. 


Schedule fire cupping with Thomas Nerbas, R.Ac., PFT to experience this ancient healing modality first hand. Enjoy the convenience of scheduling fire cupping appointments online in real-time, 24/7 at