What is Cupping?
Cupping therapy is one of the oldest methods of traditional Chinese medicine where a glass or plastic cup is applied to the skin. The cups are warmed using a cotton ball soaked in alcohol, lit, then placed inside the cup creating a vacuum.
As the vacuum is created, the cup is turned upside-down so that the practitioner can place the cup over a specific area. The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass as the air inside the jar cools.
Anywhere from 1-10 cups are added and left on the body for 15-20 minutes, as needed.
What Does it Feel Like?
Some patients liken the feeling to an octopus suctioning on to your skin. It is sort of opposite to a deep tissue massage, where instead of pushing, we are pulling out toxins in your body.
What are the Treatment Benefits?
Your body is constantly converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. If there are blockages in your body, the carbon dioxide gets stuck, creating toxins in your body. The cupping draws these blockages and toxins up to the surface to release. Cupping is believed to open up the skin’s pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
Cupping helps a wide range of issues, primarily treatment of pain, especially in the neck and back, digestion disorders, lung diseases, and the common cold.
Other Cupping Modalities:
Sliding Cupping: The practitioner adds oils to the body, then slowly glides the cup up and down the back or affected area. This helps with lymphatic drainage and tight muscles.
Wet Cupping: The skin is punctured before treatment to allow a small amount of blood to flow. This is especially helpful in sprained ankles, or where there is a clear indication of stagnant blood in the body.
Cupping is considered relatively safe, but it can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. The darker the bruises, the more toxins there were in the body. These bruises don’t hurt and will dissipate on it’s own over a few days to a week.
If you would like to learn more about cupping therapy to see if it’s right for you, contact us at email@example.com.
Pearl Chang Russell practices as a licensed acupuncturist in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas, TX and has a Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Pearl’s source of inspiration is her grandmother whose wealth of experience spans over 50 years in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.