In the last few decades, the medical industry has turned over a new leaf. Given a choice, people are gearing more towards alternative medicine over allopathic drugs and invasive procedures. Who wouldn’t if you are being promised good health minus all the unpleasant side effects?
One such method that has grabbed attention is the cupping therapy. Although still new in the United States, this healing technique is quite ancient and has been widely practiced for years in China, Egypt, Middle East, and Eastern European cultures. The modern therapies used are some modification of ancient ones only but the basic concept or logic behind them remains the same.
Among so many therapies, one is cupping therapy. This is basically a 3500 years old China based therapy for reducing body pain. Cupping therapy mainly includes use of plastic or glass cups to create a vacuum on the body part which enhances circulation of blood and lymph through tissues. During ancient times, heat was generated among the glass or bamboo cups and then this heat was applied to the painful part of the body. This heat would help in healing that area.
Cupping therapy mainly works on the meridians. Meridians are the energy pathways lying across the body reaching to all tissues and organs. The energy inside our body, also called as chi, flows through these pathways only. Any disorder in our body is caused due to blockage in smooth flow of energy. So, this therapy mainly clears the energy pathways through increasing circulation of blood and oxygen and smooth working of lymphatic system.
So, what exactly is the cupping therapy?
A trained therapist applies heated cups to specific areas of your body, generally muscular areas like the back, stomach, arms, and legs. The cups could be of glass, plastic, or silicone.
There are different ways in which the cupping therapy is done. The first is the “dry cupping” or the “fire cupping” method. A cotton ball is soaked in an inflammable substance such as rubbing alcohol. The cotton ball is set on fire and used to heat the cups. Alternately, the cups are heated in hot water or oil.
Once the cup is well-heated, it is immediately placed on the patient’s skin. As the skin rises, it seals the cup off completely. The heat creates a vacuum causing the skin and muscles to form a small puff. The cup can sit in this position for a few minutes before it is safely removed. In the “moving cupping” method, the cups are not held in a single position, but are moved smoothly over different areas. The therapist first applies oil or cream to the skin before the cups are applied. The reddened areas are due to the suction and expansion of the blood vessels.
The second method is the wet cupping method. After applying and removing the cups, the cupping therapist makes small incisions to the skin. The suction is repeated to draw out small quantities of blood. The third method is the combination of cupping with acupuncture. This one is the most effective of all the three. It involves inserting needles before the cup is placed onto the skin.
As a healing therapy, the cupping method works deep at the tissue level. It:
• Gets rid of toxins accumulated in the tissues.
• Relaxes the body by relieving tensed and knotted muscles.
• Reduces inflammation.
• Improves blood circulation and thus promotes healing.
• Boosts immune function helping fight flu, colds, and allergies.
• Enhances performance by stimulating energy flow across the body.
Cupping Therapy and Pain Mitigation
The cupping therapy is known for its varied therapeutic effects. However, pain mitigation is among the most well-known. It is for this reason that several athletes swear by it. It helps for the following pain conditions:
• It relieves migraines and tension headaches.
• It reduces the intensity of joint and muscle pains; thus, you can get relief with muscle injuries, back aches, neck pain and stiffness.
• People with rheumatism or arthritis-induced pain can consider the cupping therapy as a long-term remedy.
• It soothes pain triggered by respiratory conditions.
• You will be surprised to know that the cupping therapy can also make toothaches more bearable.
• For women who suffer severe menstrual cramps, the cupping therapy can be an effective alternative for pain medications.
The Cupping Therapy as a form of alternative medicine does so much for the health of your body. It aids digestion, alleviates pain and stiffness, fights anxiety, encourages blood circulation and helps for weight loss. Coupled with acupuncture, it only makes the process more effective.
Should you go for cupping therapy?
Cupping has many health benefits, but it isn’t recommended for everyone. Elderly people, pregnant women, those with pacemakers, dehydrated people, chronic liver patients, anyone on blood thinning medications and those with blood disorders, should not go for cupping therapy.
Good to know
Before going for cupping therapy, ask your doctor if your health will benefit from it and about any possible side-effects.
The main side-effect that comes from cupping is bruising and mild discomfort, which only lasts up to 10 days.
Besides the bruising, after wet cupping, your skin may feel sensitive from the small cuts made to draw blood but applying honey will help you heal faster.
If you aren’t healing, talk to your doctor about an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Dry cupping has minimal side-effects and no long-term damage.
Where can you get the best cupping therapy services?
Well, if you are interested in trying this therapy, then head to MelSkin in South Yarra, VIC. Their experienced and dedicated team is always ready to help you in finding the right beauty treatment for you.