Cupping therapy is an ancient form of healing that was widely used all over the world for 5000 years. It is well known as one of the branches of Chinese Medicine. Cupping has been made famous "again" recently with the 2016 Olympics popularized by Michael Phelps.
HOW does cupping WORK?
In simplest terms, cupping therapy is the use of glass jars, bamboo, or plastic cups to create suction whereby the skin is sucked into the cups through a vacuum. Once the cups are gripping the tissue, they can then be moved along the skin to produce a circulatory effect to the blood and thereby remove "stagnation" from the body. Stagnation is defined in Chinese Medicine as lack of flow. "Where there is stagnation, there is pain". In Western terms, stagnation can be seen as knots in the muscles, tightness, aches, pain, lack of lymph flow, cellulite, fat accumulation, or toxic overload. Another way of understanding cupping is as a sort of "reverse massage". Sometimes, massage is indicated in which tissues are compressed by manual manipulation. In other instances, compressing the sciatic nerve or median nerve which produces Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can aggravate the condition, and cupping is a better choice of care. Creating a suction, allows a decompression of tissues and nerves to decrease inflammation. Furthermore, patients often remark that cupping gives them more lasting relief than a massage, giving them pan relief for weeks or months versus a day or two.
WHAT AILMENTS CAN CUPPING TREAT?
- Relieves deep musculo-skeletal pain: neck, traps, shoulder, back, hip, leg muscles including IT band, TFL, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
- Knee pain: it can be used around the knee joint to increase circulation to the knee, or if the knee is swollen can apply bleeding-cupping to withdraw some fluid to relieve pain.
- Sciatic pain/piriformis syndrome
- Lung conditions: cupping can be used on the upper back to pull heat, toxins, phlegm, and open the airways to improve asthma, bronchitis and general breathing while stopping coughing.
- Detoxification: cupping can be used to draw out toxins to the surface where the lymph can flush them out of the body. This supports the liver in its detoxification processes.
- Improves blood circulation: sore muscles post-workout, lack of exercise, poor circulation, post surgery.
- Relieves arthritis pain & inflammation
- OBGYN conditions: abdominal pain due to uterine fibroids or endometriosis, PMS cramping.
- Skin conditions: can assist in clearing up acne, eczema, especially if due to heat toxic overload.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fat pockets: due to stubborn belly fat or due to insulin injection sites (diabetics).