Cupping is a marvelous therapy that can provide a wide range of benefits for your health.
One way to describe cupping therapy is that it is the opposite of massage. Instead of putting pressure to the muscles, the force of the suction pulls the muscles, tissues, and skin upward. Most Chinese medicine practitioners combine acupuncture with cupping into one treatment although either of the two could be used as a standalone treatment.
While cupping therapy has been used in China for thousands of years, its techniques have seen signs of upgrading, although its original principle remains the same.
This treatment involves applying plastic, bamboo, or glass jars on the skin that produces a vacuum by sucking the air out from inside the jar. The bottom tissue is sucked or elevated halfway into the cup. The aim of the treatment is to eliminate toxins that have built up in the body tissues, dispel heat, alleviate pain, and boost circulation.
During cupping, one usually feels a tightening sensation in the area of the cup. This feeling is typically soothing and relaxing. Based on your comfort and the evaluation of your practitioner, the cups can be left in place or moved around. They may remain for longer periods or briefly remain on your body. On a specific day, each treatment may be unique and usually the back is one very common area cupped. This does not mean the cups don’t work well on other areas in the body; they do, especially on the fleshy regions of your body.
Cupping therapy can result in the skin turning temporarily purple, blue, or red, blue, especially if there is a blockage of chi or energy or an injury on the area being cupped. The discoloration of the skin can linger for a few days to a few weeks, although it is seldom painful. The procedure can be repeated once the marks disappear. Treatment continues until the ailment or condition is cured.
Cupping therapy for various methods of its own but the two most widely used forms in the U.S. are “moving cupping” and “fixed cupping”.
In moving cupping, the practitioner puts cream or oil on your skin on the relevant parts of your body, he or she then places the cups over the affected body region and then slides them around that area of the body, which is usually the back and because the cream has lubricated your body, the cups slide easily.
You can explore the benefits of this treatment if you’re seeking relief from conditions such as fever, itchy red skin problems, muscle tension and aches, anxiety, back pain, colds, flu, allergies, body pain, and stress.
The practitioner places the cups on the area of the body selected for treatment. The cups are then left in place.
Here are as few reasons why you should seriously consider cupping therapy:
1. Cupping can alleviate various kinds of health problems.
You can derive a ton of benefits from cupping. It helps treat itchy red skin conditions, aches, fevers, allergies anxiety, weak circulation, muscle and back pain, coughs, colds, and flu and stimulates the flow of Chi, lymph, and fresh blood in the body. Cupping is also an ideal to detoxify the body and can resolve dozens of ailments and disorders.
Cupping is not exclusively used by the Chinese to treat illness. This treatment has many variations that were used by the early Greeks, North American Indians, ancient Egyptians, and in other European and Asian civilizations. Hippocrates, the “Father of Modern Medicine,” actually recommend cupping therapy in his guide to medical treatment.
One should remember that cupping is contraindicated for patients who have a difficult time controlling their bleeding or who tend to bleed easily and for patients suffering from edema, and skin ulcers. It should not be to cup over large blood vessels. Using extra caution practitioners could cup pregnant women albeit with extreme caution and never on the women’s lower back or stomach.
2. Many Athletes use cupping to boost their skills
During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Chinese swimmer Wang Chun proudly showed off her cupping marks. Today, a growing number of athletes have turned to cupping as a way of searching for methods to enhance their performance and health in a natural way. Andy Murray, a tennis star have used cupping along with other therapies to alleviate muscle stiffness and to help treat a back injury.
This treatment has also been adopted by the New York Mets. The Wall Street Journal in August reported on several Mets players who were using cupping. For these baseball players, the trend began after Daisuke Matsuzaka, their teammate, showed up in the locker room with numerous cupping marks on his body. About two years ago, this 33-year-old baseball dude began cupping and he reported that he always was looking for ways to improve and protect his body. He remarked that, “I’m always in the habit of looking for something that might be good for my health.”
Cupping can be extremely advantageous for everyone and it’s not just for athletes and movie stars.
3. Celebrities who regularly receive cupping therapy are growing in numbers
Cupping therapy first appeared in the tabloids about 10 years ago. This was the time when Actress Gwyneth Paltrow appeared on the red carpet toting round large cupping marks on her back. She later explained to Oprah, “Cupping is definitely extremely relaxing and feels amazing.”
Today, aside from Ms. Paltrow, other Hollywood stars have been going to practitioners of this ancient healing technique. Jennifer Aniston last April, appeared at the premiere of her movie, “Call Me Crazy” looking fabulous in a black strapless dress that exhibited her cupping marks. Ms. Aniston has long been a huge fan of acupuncture and cupping.
Popular outspoken cupping activists include Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, and Jessica Simpson. They have talked about cupping as a treatment for relaxation and for other physical complaints. The treatment has also been picked up by the Exes. In London, Ms. Paltrow’s partner, Chris Martin, revealed his cupping marks while working out while Brad Pitt is also believed to have experienced the therapy.
Dr. Hailing Fu is a doctor or Oriental medicine and the founder of Ling’s Acupuncture, Inc., in Orlando, FL. She has also served as professor and clinic director at the Florida College of Integrative Medicine in Central Florida.