Cupping Therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin using glass cups. Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain. It is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation and is good for deep tissue repair.
Cupping is one of the oldest methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cupping is the term applied to a technique that use small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin. Burning a substance inside the cup removes all the oxygen, which creates a vacuum type suction pulling the skin upward on the side of the glass as the air inside the jar cools.
Traditionally, naturopaths have long recognized the association between pain and conditions of congestion, stagnation and blockage caused by wind, cold, heat, dampness. The cupping method has the function of warming and promoting the free flow of Qi and blood in the meridians, dispelling cold dampness, diminishing swelling and pains. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed by sucking out of illness and infirmity from the body. Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5-10 minutes.
As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand. This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. The bruises are usually painless, and disappear within 7-10 days of treatment. Patients should not take a shower right after the cupping treatment. Patients are advised to stay warm and avoid chills for 1 or 2 days.