Cupping is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that has been in the news a lot recently. Several Team USA Olympians in the 2016 games have been photographed with small, circular marks on their backs and shoulders. These Olympians, as well as many other athletes, have figured out that the healing technique called ‘cupping’ can be a powerful holistic way of dealing with several health concerns. Athletes are always looking for holistic methods to help them be healthy. They can’t run the risk of using drugs, or anything, that would affect their ability to pass drug testing that is often performed on athletes.
The process we know as ‘cupping’ dates back to Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures and has long been associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. ‘Cupping’ works by applying glass cups to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.
Cupping is the inverse of massage
Rather than applying pressure ‘to’ muscles, the suction uses pressure to ‘pull’ skin, tissue and muscles upward. One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat” and pull out the toxins that linger in a person’s body’s tissues.
Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, especially if there is an injury, or energetic blockage, under the area that was cupped. The skin discoloration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, but is rarely painful. Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.
Benefits of cupping
Cupping has numerous health benefits. Cupping can help remove toxins from the body and stimulate the flow of fresh blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area, as well as throughout the body. Cupping often works wonders for patients with the flu, colds, coughs, back and muscle pain, poor circulation, anxiety, red itchy skin conditions, allergies, fevers, aches and myriad other pains – (though cups are not applied to inflamed areas).
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. For weight loss and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area.
Depending on the patient and their health needs, often times Acupuncture, or other Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques may be combined with cupping in a one treatment.
Let Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques help with health issues you may have – call our offices for an appointment today.