What is Cupping Therapy? Cupping is a very old Chinese healing technique that’s been practiced for thousands of years that causes local congestion in order to treat pain and diseases. It is used to draw toxins and excess fluids out of the body through the creation of negative pressure and suction. Cupping also helps loosen stubborn “knots,” connective tissue, adhesions, and stagnant muscles.
The Benefits Derived From Cupping Therapy
Cupping works by stimulating the flow of lymph and blood to the problematic part of the body. Oftentimes, cupping and massage is applied on wide areas of the back to eliminate stubborn adhesions and stagnated waste. Cupping can be used to treat:
• Menstrual pain
• Sorting injuries
• The common cold
• General muscle tension
Those are just some of the conditions in which this therapy can to be highly beneficial. Talk to your cupping practitioner for further information.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
Glass cups are used by the practitioner, which are applied to the patient’s body. Using a flame, a vacuum is generated within each of the cups used that are then placed over the skin. Oil is applied on the body to facilitate the movement of glass on the skin surface. The cups are held tight to the body by the suction and the targeted area of the skin is elevated a few millimeters into the cup. These cups are allowed to remain on the body where they simulate the movement of energy and help treat ailments and illnesses.
Is Cupping Therapy Painful?
Some people may find the treatment uncomfortable and even painful, while some may find it relaxing and comfortable. During the treatment, most patients feel a tingling sensation and warmth that penetrates deep into the body that can linger long after the session has ended. This therapy relieves the inflammation from the affected part of the body yet does not exacerbate it especially when it is combined with liniments or oils. In a strong cupping procedure, the skin will likely redden. This is a good sign since it means sign that the flow of blood is being moved to the surface of the skin. The boost of local blood flow to the site of treatment will transport nourishment to the skin and muscles and cause the toxins to be washed away.
What Happens After Treatment?
After a cupping treatment session, based on the severity of your injury, bruises or red welts may appear on your skin that can be uncomfortable. This skin discoloration is not the result of tissue trauma or broken vessels, but of the moving up of waste material to the skin surface for elimination. The marks may last for many days. You need to inform your practitioner if you intend to wear clothes that expose the marks (i.e. evening gown or swimwear).
More often than not, cupping’s effects feel similar to that of deep tissue strong massage. Sometimes, you may feel a little fatigued or tired from the treatment. This is an indication that the body is in the process of eliminating the waste products. Hence, you need to drink small amounts of water as often as you can and slow down in order to recuperate quickly.
Cupping almost always produces immediate relief and results. Your muscle pain will be significantly alleviated or even completely cured and you will feel a lot looser. A sensation of well-being and intense relaxation will replace the feeling of aching or sore muscles.
Nelya de Brun is a licensed acupuncturist in Boynton Beach, FL., practicing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Western medical pathology. She is also the founder of Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC.