Cupping is an amazing massage technique that can improve your appearance and your health.
Cupping involves the opposite movements of other massages. When you get a massage, pressure is mostly applied to your muscles in a downward direction. In cupping, suction is used to pull the skin, tissue, and muscles upward.
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Where does cupping come from?
Many people believe that cupping is exclusive to traditional Chinese Medicine. This is not the case. There are versions of cupping that were used by the North American Indians, the ancient Egyptians, and the early Greeks. It has also been used in Asian and European countries.
Hippocrates, the “Father of Modern Medicine” recommended cupping in his guide to clinical treatment. Today, cupping is still used regularly in traditional Chinese medicine. It is often used in Chinese hospitals and medical clinics.
How does cupping work?
When cupping is performed, suction cups of varying sizes are attached to the body. The suction then draws the blood from the surface of the skin and can cause bruises.
Cupping is known for improving blood circulation. This can help speed up healing. It can also ease muscle soreness and reduce pain.
Is cupping safe?
It is important to understand that cupping cannot be used on patients who bleed easily or cannot stop bleeding once they start. It should also be avoided by people who suffer from skin ulcers or edema.
Pregnant women should be cupped very carefully. Cupping on their abdomen or their lower back should be avoided. Finally, cupping over large blood vessels is not advised.
Different types of cupping
In cupping, different techniques and tools are used.
One of the most basic techniques in cupping is dry cupping. The cups create a vacuum over the skin. Combustible materials such as herbs, alcohol, and paper is lighted and slid into the cup.
When the fire goes out, the cup is immediately turned inside out over the area where the cup was placed. When the cup cools down inside, it creates a vacuum which causes the blood vessels under the skin to turn red and expand. Typically, the cup is allowed to rest on the skin for 10 minutes.
Of all the cupping techniques used, wet cupping is the most common. Suction is created in the same way as dry cupping and the cup is left on the skin for about 3 minutes. The therapist would then use a scalpel to make tiny cuts on the skin.
Next, a second cup is placed to suck up a few drops of the toxic blood and any other substances in the body that are considered harmful. This helps to promote healing. In order to prevent infection, antibiotic ointments are used and the site would be wrapped with a sterile bandage. This will also help the wound heal faster.
Massage cupping is also called moving cupping or gliding cupping, and it is a form of dry cupping. During this method, oil is applied to the skin before the actual cupping begins. When the vacuum is created, the cup can easily slide over the skin, giving the patient an introverted massage.
This technique is especially popular for cellulite reduction and weight loss. Today, many therapists use medical-grade silicone or rubber for this treatment because they are softer than traditional cups and they are more flexible when moved.
Myofascial Cupping: Traditional Chinese cupping targets the 12 meridians of a person’s body to promote healing. Myofascial cupping is aimed at the skeletal system and the muscular system.
To create the suction with this method, mechanical suction is used. A cylinder would be attached to a suction pump that is hand operated. This cup is then applied to the skin and the same technique is used as in massage cupping.
During the beginning of the treatment, the therapist would massage the patient’s whole body to determine the areas that need treatment the most. Once the targets are located, herbals creams or oils are applied to the skin before the cup is attached. The therapist will use different sized cups during the treatment and usually more than one up is used at a time. Even though this treatment leaves behind bruises that last a few days, it isn’t painful.
This type of cupping attracts the blood to the target areas and brings essential nutrients to the area to promote healing. If there is any swelling, the pressure from the cupping will help. It also increases the flexibility in the tissues. Any blockage or accumulation of fluids in the target area would be released.
This treatment is a popular part of massage therapy. It is also used often by people who cannot undergo acupuncture treatments. This is a great treatment for anyone who has sustained a sporting injury. This treatment is very effective for a person who has pain in their muscles or bone structure. Neck pain, strained tissues, sprained muscles, and back pain can also be treated with myofascial cupping.
Facial or Face Cupping:
This type of cupping is more for cosmetic purposes and less for pain issues. It is designed to reduce the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. It can also reduce puffiness around the eyes, sagging skin, double chins, and facial scarring. Rosacea and acne can also be treated through facial cupping.
This method can help with certain types of pain such as earaches and headaches. It also works for allergies and sinus problems. Recent studies have shown that this type of cupping can help with facial paralysis which occurs after a stroke or with Parkinsons’ disease. If a person suffers from stiffness in the temporal mandibular joints, facial cupping can help.
During the procedure, the therapist will use special glass cups that are designed specifically for use on the face. The cups are then attached to a small rubber bulb which will create the suction on the skin. To move the cup over the face, healing creams or herbal oils are applied to the skin.
The final result is more supple skin with improved collagen formation. If there are lines or scars on the face, the suction will plump them up, reducing the appearance.
Remarkable Benefits Of Cupping Therapy
If you aren’t sure whether or not cupping is right for you, it is important to know the amazing benefits of cupping therapy.
The main reason that people use cupping is to relieve pain. The results of several clinical trials were published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine showed that cupping had more positive effects on relieving cancer pain than anti-cancer drugs and analgesics. When the pressure of cupping is applied to pain points or swollen areas, the suction targets the soft tissue. It will increase the blood flow and supplies the tissues with oxygen and nutrients.
Cupping can also relax tense muscles and help ease stiffness caused by back pain, neck pain, rheumatism, and migraines. In some cases, the therapist will use heat, suction, and needles near the injury said. These methods allow energy to flow through the channels and then pass right through the injury.
Relieves Cough, Cold, and Allergy Symptoms: When you have excess phlegm in your lungs, it triggers a cough to get it out of the body. Cupping can help stimulate the lungs and help clear out the phlegm. It can also speed up the process of a cold and allergy symptoms. Finally, cupping can move blood and lymphatic fluid through your system, which can boost your immune function.
Promotes Relaxation: In today’s hectic world, everyone could use a bit of rest and relaxation. Constant stress can result in a variety of health issues and mental issues such as depression and anxiety.
Cupping has the same effect as deep muscle massage because it lifts the pressure from tense muscles. Just lying still during the treatment has positive effects on the mind and body. When the cups are placed on the skin, the patient often remains still for at least 20 minutes. This can relax a person and sedate their central nervous system.
Detoxifying: Toxins can build up in the body’s tissues due to poor circulation. This can cause many health conditions. Cupping can cause the blood to rush to the area that is being treated and then carries away the toxins.
Cupping can also clear out dead cells and other debris. People like cupping because toxins can be expelled naturally. After a cupping session, patients are told to drink plenty of water to flush away the toxins and impurities.
Heals Injuries Faster by Inducing Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that your body uses to heal illnesses and injuries. After an injury, most people get an ice pack to reduce the swelling. If it becomes inflamed, it isn’t that bad. The swelling helps the injury become flooded with nutrients, white blood cells, platelets, and fibroblasts, and nutrients that can aid in healing.
Cupping works in the same way. The blood is drawn to the injured area so that new blood vessels can be created. Cupping also heals knots, adhesions, and it can help the body recover faster after an intense workout.
Improves Skin Conditions: Cupping is used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and skin inflammation. It is also known for lessening herpes breakouts and reducing cellulite. If a person has eczema, cups are placed at certain points of the body, such as the top of the spinal cord, above the ankle, or below the knee.
To treat acne, the cups are placed over the breakout and a small nick is made. For cellulite, the cups are dragged across oil covered skin. According to a study published in PLOS One found that cupping is as effective in treating acne as antibiotics.
Relieving Digestive Disorders: Cupping has become a popular treatment for digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. It is believed that the stress-reducing effects can aid in digestion. Stress and tension can lead to bloating, constipation, and other common digestive issues. Studies have shown that cupping can also help with diarrhea, gastritis, stomach cramps, water retention, and loss of appetite.
Anti-Aging: Cupping can help you look younger as it brings the skin in fine lines and wrinkles to the surface, making them essentially disappear. It can also draw the fluid from the lymph glands, resulting in less puffiness around the eyes. When herbal oils are used, the treatment is more effective.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel is a condition that between 4 and 10 million Americans suffer from. It is a progressive condition that can interfere with the sensation, strength, and function of the hands.
Cupping has been known to provide temporary pain relief and regain some of the feeling in the hands. According to a study performed in Germany, just one cupping session can ease pain and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for up to a week.
Should you perform cupping on yourself?
Cupping is relatively safe, but to what extent you should perform a cupping massage on your own body depends on your health situation, skill level and desired outcome. If applied in a wrong manner, you could run the risk of damaging your skin and other parts of your body. Especially the fire cupping is not something you want to start with on your own.
The best option is to have one or more cupping treatments by a professional cupping massage therapist. When you are sure you want to do it yourself, take a cupping workshop and go for it!