What’s This ‘Cupping’ Thing
Cupping is a modality of traditional Chinese medicine in which glass cups are suctioned to the skin using heat to create a vacuum. This therapy helps to eliminate toxins, relieve congestion, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. Cupping is generally painless and can be as effective as massage for muscle problems.
Cupping is a process in which suction is used to relieve local congestion. Suction is created by various methods, using either heat or mechanical means to create partial vacuum. Cupping methods create a negative pressure or suction, on the skin which pulls up tissue and actively draws blood and other fluids close to the surface. This pulling action in the body engages the parasympathetic nervous system and induces a deep relaxation.
Who would benefit?
- Back Pain
- Musculoskeletal pain, Tightened or painful muscles, Pinched Nerves
- Respiratory Disorders
- Colds and Flu
- Arthritic conditions
- Intestinal Issues
Cupping is known for its ability to break up localized stagnation. Cupping is reputed to:
- Drain excess fluids and toxins
- Loosen adhesions
- Lift connective tissues
- Enhance circulation in stagnant musculature and fascia
- Stimulate the peripheral nervous system.
Lung Issues :Cupping over the lungs helps to loosen phlegm, boost immunity and deepen breathing. It’s effective for common colds, asthma and allergies.
Detoxification: When we talk about detoxifying, what we are really trying to do is to clear excess heat that burdens the liver. This accumulates from stress, eating processed foods, drinking alcohol and coffee, and taking pharmaceuticals. Cupping clears excess heat from the body, as evidenced by the red marks that can linger on the skin for several days after.
Musculoskeletal Pain: Cupping is like a reverse massage, using suction rather than pressure to relax the muscles. The heat and suction also work to bring fresh blood to a pain area and release blockages there. It is useful for back, neck and shoulder pain, and sciatica.
Digestive Problems: Cupping can help improve the digestive system when the cups are applied to the stomach area. By relaxing the stomach muscles and improving blood flow, it can increase nutrient absorption.
Know-Before-You-Go: Cupping Edition
Brave enough to get cupped? Here are a few things you should know:
- It’s not as painful as it looks. If you’re a glutton for deep-tissue massage, foam rolling or a firm elbow from time to time, you can rest assured you’ll have a pain-free experience. That said, “If you have any really stagnant tissue, you might experience more soreness — but not usually lasting more than 24 hours.
- Those marks don’t lie (for the most part). Darker marks can denote one of two things: Poorer circulation to that part of the body or higher levels of toxicity being brought up to the skin.