Cupping is becoming well know since a lot of the Rio Olympic athletes have been seen with these mysterious circles on their skin.
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses suction devices that are placed on the skin. The way our Acupuncturist can create the suction in the cups involves a pump that creates a vacuum seal against the skin.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin or stay stationary. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes.
Generally, cupping is combined with acupuncture in one treatment, but it can also be used alone. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. For weight loss and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area.
Similar to acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians. By following the meridians, cupping helps to open the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi. Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available with the least discomfort. It is said to affect tissues up to four inches deep.
Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries flow can be cleared. Besides the bigger areas of the body, hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be ‘cupped,’ thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.
This treatment is also valuable for lungs, and can help clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person’s asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are one of the most common maladies that cupping is used to relieve.