What Is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin, either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When muscles have been tight, especially for a long time, the blood becomes stagnant in that area. Cupping helps to bring this stagnant blood to the surface so that new blood will replace it, bringing nutrients to enhance the healing process. I use plastic suction cups, which have the same effect as glass cups but are safer as you don’t have to light them on fire.

cupping_01So if you’ve ever felt like a massage session only helps for a few days, or your therapist has ever mentioned that it feels like they can’t get deep enough, cupping may be for you. While your skin is being suctioned into the cup it may be a little uncomfortable, but that doesn’t last very long. So if you can’t handle deep tissue massage because it’s too painful, cupping may be an alternative. Cupping has been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing a release of toxins, the activation of the lymphatic system, the clearing of colon blockages, the activation of the skin, and much more. Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available. It is very useful and very safe.

With a device made for plastic cups, suction is generated until there’s no more air in the cup. This suction helps restore blood flow to the area, thus releasing the toxic byproducts of normal metabolism that can accumulate in areas of muscle pain.

cupping_02As seen here, the skin will be covered in red spots right after the cups have been removed. Don’t panic! Many of these red spots fade over several hours. Some, however, may bruise superficially giving the skin a “pepperoni” type appearance for up to 7-10 days. But no matter how prominent a bruise may be, it will eventually fade. Despite any temporary side effect, the process can be wonderfully beneficial.

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