What is Cupping?
Cupping is one of the oldest methods of traditional Chinese medicine. Cupping involves placing glass cups on the body, especially the back. The inside of the cup is first quickly heated to remove the oxygen and create a vacuum. It is then applied to the skin to form suction. Drawing up the tissues opens up the skin’s pores, which helps stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of energy, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
Several cups may be placed on a patient’s body and are typically applied for 5 to 10 minutes. Some practitioners may apply medicated oil to the skin before placing the cups, which allows them to move the cups along specific acupuncture points or meridians.
The above, traditional method of cupping is known as dry cupping. Other methods include air cupping, where a suction pump is attached to the jar and used to create the vacuum, and wet cupping, where the skin is punctured to help relieve remove harmful substances and toxins.
Cupping stimulates strong blood flow to the area, which is helpful for relieving tension and muscle cramps. Patients report that cupping feels wonderful and is just like receiving a deep-tissue massage.
What is Cupping used for?
Cupping is used primarily to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and congestion; arthritis; gastrointestinal disorders; and certain types of pain. Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach (and, to a lesser extent, the arms and legs), are the preferred sites for treatment.
Cupping is considered safe, especially air cupping. It often results in superficial bruises on the areas where the cups were applied, which typically lasts for a few days. These bruises are not painful but you may find them unsightly.
Instances where cupping should not be performed include patients with inflamed skin; cases of high fever or convulsions; and patients who bleed easily. Cupping should also be avoided on the stomach or lower back of pregnant women.
The information provided on this site is for reference only and should not be taken as medical recommendations or professional guidance.