What is Cupping?
How can it help you?
When you get cupping therapy, your therapist will place cups on your body and suction your skin and muscle into them. It’s the opposite of a massage: Instead of pushing down on your tissue, you’ll be pulling it up.
The benefits of cupping are related to the increased blood flow of the area. You can relieve stiffness, reduce inflammation, draw out toxins and get rid of stagnation in your pressure points. Because of its wide-ranging advantages, cupping can be used to treat everything from arthritis to fibromyalgia.
The more traditional methods involve heating the cups with a flame and using alcohol-soaked pads to create suction as the oxygen is burned off. More modern methods will forego the flame and use a manual suction pump that attaches to the top of the cup.
Wet cupping involves cutting into the skin and drawing out bad blood. Gliding cupping will move the cups around with the help of massage oil. As you can see, you’ll have plenty of options when it’s time to choose your cupping method.
Cupping may or may not be painful. Some people only experience a throbbing or tingling sensation; others feel an ache, but it mixes with the endorphins of pain relief and deep muscle stimulation, so it’s not unlike the ache of a good massage. It’s recommended that you start slow with cupping so that you can judge your reaction and pain tolerance to it. Get 2 – 3 cups on your first visit before moving onto an entire arm, leg or back cupping.
Chronic pain. Cupping is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine for pain relief. It can increase the circulation to muscles, tendons, joints and organs and soothe all of your stiffness and inflammation. It can also give you a rush of feel-good endorphins to combat your pain receptors.
Bronchial issues. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, cupping might help with your congestion. Certain forms of cupping incorporate the qi-centered techniques of ancient Chinese acupuncture; the cups are placed on particular points of the body to dispel stagnant blood and lymph fluids.
Skin disorders. There’s been some evidence to suggest that cupping can help with acne and eczema. It might also benefit facial paralysis. Cupping can stimulate the skin, draw out impurities, reduce puffiness and increase the production of new skin cells. It can also calm the stress and anxiety that causes flare-ups in the first place.
Blood disorders. Since cupping is based on the idea of better blood flow, it can be used in conjunction with other treatments to treat blood disorders like anemia and hemophilia.
Headaches. Are you plagued by migraines? Cupping can reduce headache symptoms like pain, nausea, blurred vision and sensitivity to light and sound. Just let your therapist know that you need the treatment in a dark room with minimal noise.
Compromised immune systems. The increased circulation from cupping can help you recover faster from illnesses and injuries. It’s the same principle as applying heat to a swollen ankle to stimulate the blood flow and promote healing; cupping just creates its own heat and flow.
Mood disorders. Cupping therapy can be used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. The psychological benefits are often just as profound as the physical ones.
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