Chinese Cupping is an effective tool in treating a range of conditions such as pain, muscular tension and congestion.
Have you have ever noticed someone with perfectly round-shaped bruises on their back or shoulders? Gwyneth Paltrow showed up on the red carpet a few years ago with these dark small round bruises on her back, conspicuously standing out in a low-back dress. She later admitted to being a fan of this ancient Chinese therapy.
Cupping is an ancient treatment that, along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Like acupuncture, it dates back thousands of years, recognised 3,000 years ago as an effective treatment for pulmonary conditions. Now, it is embraced by many cultures. My Italian mother, now in her late 70s, and her 80 year old Greek neighbour, recall older generations using cupping to treat cold and flu symptoms.
What Is Chinese Cupping?
Cupping involves the application of small glass cups to the body. These cups work somewhat like a suction, and when placed directly on the body, the suction draws up skin and superficial muscle layers into the cup. This draws blood, rich in oxygen and nutrients, to the surface, encouraging the release of stagnation and congestion within the body.
The practitioner will either slide these suction cups over the body along specific meridians, or apply them directly to a particular point on the body. After a period of time, the cups are removed.
Traditional Chinese Medicine works on the premise that pain, chronic disease and illness are a result of stagnation in our Qi, which is a vital energy that circulates through the human body.
Acupuncture and cupping serve to release that stagnation and support optimal blood flow and flow of Qi, which is considered essential to good health. Cupping is highly effective for pain management.
Cupping is a relatively safe procedure, except for the possibility of bruising when it is used. While some mild bruising can occur, this is an indication that the toxins have been drawn to the skin surface and then removed. Here are some of the conditions and symptoms this therapy can treat:-
- Muscular tension and pain
- Neck pain
- Pulmonary conditions – e.g. asthma and bronchitis
- Cold & flu symptoms
- Anxiety and general tension
- Back pain
- Circulatory system issues
- Migraine and headache
- Fatigue and low energy
- Arthritis and rheumatism
Is it safe and does it hurt?
Cupping is considered generally safe. However, some swelling and/or bruising can result on the skin, as mentioned earlier. In general, these bruises are usually painless and will diminish in appearance within a few days or up to a week after the treatment.
As with all treatments, it is important to take a few precautions. Avoid cupping If you have a high fever, inflammatory skin conditions or if you are on any kind of blood thinning medication such as warfarin. If you are pregnant, avoid cupping across the abdomen and lumbar (lower back) regions. Otherwise, this is generally safe.
We offer cupping as part of an Acupuncture, Myotherapy or Remedial massage treatment, or as a stand alone session.
For further information, call the clinic now.
- Brtish Acupuncture Council – www.acupuncture.org.uk
- National Center for Biotechnology Information – www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Acupuncture Today – www.acupuncturetoday.com