I'm always blown away by the sheer simplicity of the things that work so astoundingly well in this field. Those tiny little needles, only about as thick as a hair, can literally change the course of someone's life. During treatments, I sometimes use a flat stone to do something called "gua sha". It's basically a deep tissue massage, but it provides immense relief for all sorts of issue emanating from tight traps and necks. Once you are trained, you can use pretty much anything with a curved edge for gua sha. Most acupuncturists use Chinese soup spoons, but I've seen people using all sorts of items, including the caps of Snapple bottles! Cupping is another tool in Chinese medicine that is so simple, yet works beautifully. I use fire-cupping in my clinic, which means that I light a flame inside a glass cup, extinguish it, and then use the vacuum created by the flame to form a suction on the patient's skin. Depending on the issue, the cups are either left to sit, or they are lubricated and moved around.
I'm sure that I will be getting a lot of phone calls asking about this mysterious cupping business now that this article has recently come out: