Cupping is an effective (needle-free) technique commonly used in acupuncture clinics. Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin to remove adhesion from soft tissue, to improve circulation, and to relieve pain. Suction is created using hand mechanical pumps or with ignited cotton balls. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn upward into the cup. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. Then, the cups can be gently moved across the skin using a technique called “Glide Cupping.” Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it provides negative pressure. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cupping Suction can dispel stagnation of blood and lymph, thereby improving Qi (life force) flow, while relieving pain. Former Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, U.S. gymnast Alex Naddour and Belarus swimmer Pavel Sankovich have all posted pictures of their polka-dotted limbs and backs. Sankovich wrote on his Instagram account: “Cupping is a great recovery tool.”
Cupping therapy is similar to the practice of Tui Na, a traditional Chinese medicine massage technique that targets acupuncture points as well as painful body parts. The five meridian lines on the back are where the cups are usually placed. By targeting the meridian channels, cupping strives to ‘open’ these channels – the paths through which life energy naturally flows freely throughout the body, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing Qi. Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is understood to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins/arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be ‘cupped,’ thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these acupuncture points. Once the stagnated blood is released, the patient feels a great release immediately. The skin, where cupping was performed, may look reddish or even black depending on the condition being addressed. However, the skin will return to its normal color after several days. No scar or marks will be left behind.
1) Cupping is contraindicated for use on skin ulcers and the abdominal or scalar regions of pregnant women.
2) Always have food before getting Cupping.