What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy applies suction to the skin to help alleviate pathogenic factors or to invigorate the flow of Chi to promote healing and well-being. Suction can be created using mechanical devices such as hand or electric pumps or heat (flame).
Benefits of Cupping Therapy
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cupping therapy has many benefits as it is generally used for warming and promoting the body’s natural energy (Chi) and blood in the meridians. This includes pathogenic influences such as dispelling cold, dampness to help reduce pain. It is also used to help treat Bi syndrome caused by wind dampness such as pain of the low back, shoulders, legs and gastrointestinal disorders amongst others.
How it works
During the treatment a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs or paper is placed into a cup at room temperature which is then set a light. As the flame goes out, the cup is placed upside down on selected areas of the skin where the muscle is abundant and elastic and free from hairs and bone ridges. As the air inside the cup cools this creates a partial vacuum, the pressure in the cup is reduced either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues inside the cup causing blood vessels to dilate. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed to encourage localised healing to take place.
Alternatively, a modern version of this technique can be applied using either glass or medical-grade silicon cups fitted with a valve that attaches to a small hand-operated pump to create a vacuum inside the cup. This enables the practitioner to extract air out of the cup without having to rely on a flammable substance to depressurise the cup first. It also gives the practitioner greater control over the amount of suction.
Type of cups used
The cups can be made from a variety of materials such as; glass, bamboo, earthenware and medical-grade silicon.
Is Cupping Therapy for me?
Cupping Therapy should be avoided by the following groups:-
Pregnant menstruating women
People with metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to one part of the body to another)
People with bone fractures or spasms
People susceptible to spontaneous bleeding following trauma
People that are diagnosed with excess heat syndrome such as high fever
Cupping therapy can leave numerous distinctive marks on the skins surface this is quite normal and not harmful or painful. The marks will dissipate within a few days, although individuals will vary. Aftercare and light massage will be provided following cupping treatments to help dissipate the markings.
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