Cupping therapy is great for:
- removing toxins from the body
- stimulating the flow of fresh blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout the body
- flu, colds and coughs,
- back and muscle pain
- increase circulation
- reduces anxiety
- helps red itchy skin conditions (though cups are not applied to inflamed areas)
- fevers and aches
One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. Cupping can often be combined with acupuncture into one treatment, but it could also be used alone.
Cupping was developed thousands of years ago and though the techniques have modernized, the original philosophy remains the same. Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. 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 your body’s tissues.
A tight sensation will be felt by the patient in the area of the cup. Often, this sensation is relaxing and soothing. Depending on your comfort and your practitioner’s assessment of the problem, cups may be moved around or left in place. They may remain on your body briefly or for longer amounts of time. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day. One very common area to be cupped is the back, although cups work well on other areas, too — particularly on fleshy sections of the body.
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.
Common Cupping Methods:
The cups are placed on a selected area of your body and then left in place without being moved.
As the name implies, in this method your practitioner applies massage oil or cream on your skin in selected places, puts the cups over the areas to be treated and then slides them around that region of the body — most commonly the back. The cups slide easily because the cream has lubricated your body.