Have you heard of cupping therapy? It's becoming more common in Western culture thru the years, especially with the Olympic athletes "modernizing" it in the headlines the past few years.
But what is cupping? And could you benefit from it? In this post, I will discuss dry cupping as that is the therapy I am most familiar with. There is also "wet cupping" where punctures are made in your skin to draw stagnant blood, but I have not done that particular therapy.
Dry cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. The therapist will put a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper in a cup and set it on fire. As the fire goes out, he puts the cup upside down on your skin.As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for up to 3 minutes.
A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump instead of fire to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes therapists use silicone cups, which they can move from place to place on your skin for a massage-like effect.
Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians. There are five meridian lines on the back, and these are where the cups are usually placed. Using these points, cupping can help to align and relax qi, as well as target more specific maladies. By targeting the meridian channels, cupping strives to ‘open’ these channels – the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, through all tissues and organs, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi (life force). Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be ‘cupped,’ thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.
Benefits Of Chinese Cupping
More benefits of Chinese cupping for the lungs can clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person’s asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are one of the most common maladies that cupping is used to relieve.
Cupping’s detoxifying effect on skin and circulatory system is also significant, with a visible improvement in skin color after three to five treatments. Cupping removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries. Especially useful for athletes is cupping’s potential to relieve muscle spasms.
Cupping also affects the digestive system. A few benefits include an improved metabolism, relief from constipation, a healthy appetite, and stronger digestion.
A 2015 report published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine noted cupping as an effective alternative method of treating acne, pain, facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, and herpes zoster.
As health practitioners and researchers continue to study the benefits of cupping, this traditional alternative care technique will gain further acceptance and wider practice across holistic healthcare centers in the U.S. as an effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments.
You can find cupping done in a lot more places now since it is common. Check with your local holistic health care practitioners, massage therapist, and even chiropractor.
Have you tried cupping before? I'm curious to know! Send me an email telling me about your experience HERE