Cupping therapy places cups on the skin for a few minutes to create suction effect. It is a pain management therapy that originated in ancient times. The method also improves blood flow, promotes relaxation and general well-being and creates an effect similar to deep tissue massage.
The increased blood flow under the cups eliminates the toxins and impurities from the surrounding tissues and organs. With this therapy, muscle tension relaxes, and new blood vessels form in the tissue. It may have originated in China, and the practice is common among Koreans, Tibetans, and Latin Americans.
There are different ways of using the cupping method, depending on the condition.
In this method, the experts fix cups to the body and allow them to stay for some time. The application may be through pump cups, suction cups, or fire cups. These cups stay fixed during the treatment and aim at the release of local tissue. The concentration of the cups stays local, allowing the connective tissue to stretch fully. Local tension and pain are the symptoms for which this method applies.
In the dry cupping method, the experts apply plastic suction cups to the dry skin or a little bit of lotion. The lotion allows the suction cup to glide over the affected area, offering deep tissue massage. Once the cups are removed, they may leave behind red circular areas corresponding to the diameter.
Wet cupping is a method in which the specialists puncture the skin to draw blood before placing the cups. Usually, about three to five cups are common during the first session. Once the therapy finishes, the application of antibiotic ointment and a bandage helps in preventing infection. The skin must return to normal within about ten days.
In this method, cups are applied and removed immediately, and the procedure repeats over a broad area. It helps in stimulating local circulation.
The level of cupping includes medium, strong and weak. The weak cups are used for older people and young children and move the blood and fluids lightly. The weak cups may not reduce stasis or congestion in the surrounding tissues. People with slightly higher strength are more appropriate for medium cups. The cups stay for a short period to remove congestion and improve circulation. People with a high level of energy are to be chosen for strong cups. In this method, the cups need to stay for a short time and are used for chronic localized stasis.
The potential complications of cupping are:
It is a relatively safe and effective method to treat pain and relax the muscles. However, the feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, and sweating are common. The skin surrounding the edge of the cup may experience irritation. The risk of infection is common, although the methods of practitioners for cleaning the skin pre and post-session can control it.
The benefits of the therapy are:
Cupping relieves lower back pain and arthritis. It also treats dental pain, migraine, sciatica, and muscle pain. The method increases circulation and mobility ad considered effective for lumbago, stiff shoulder and neck muscles, rheumatism.
The therapy treats lung diseases, such as bronchial congestion, chronic cough, asthma, and pleurisy.
Cupping treats digestive issues resulting from malnutrition, chronic stress, and the response of the immune system.
With improved blood flow due to cupping, the skin gets its supply of nutrients and oxygen and stays healthy. The therapy also reduces acne and its recurrence and disease of the skin like cellulite. The expanded blood vessels, after the therapy, remove toxic elements from the skin’s surface and keep it healthy.
For long-standing fatigue, wet cupping is an effective method of relief.
Urinary problems such as kidney stones, abscess, and urine retention can be treated with this therapy.
The areas that require healing can recover fast with increased blood and energy flow.
Cupping helps in massaging and is a good form of relaxation.
The therapy can treat a wide variety of conditions like:
Cupping therapy is not suitable for everyone. People with these conditions should not take this therapy.
Before getting the cupping massage, the preparations are:
After the therapy, the skin around the edge of the cup becomes red and marked circularly.
The therapy is useful for people with knee pain, shoulder pain and back pain. It also treats gastrointestinal disorders like IBD, hypertension, and carpal tunnel syndrome.