Chinese Cupping Therapy
Traditional Chinese medicine brings to mind acupuncture, acupressure and the use of natural healing remedies. Cupping is a lesser-known treatment of Oriental medicine, one that can provide an especially pleasant experience.
One of the earliest documentation of cupping can be found in “A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies”, written by a Taoist herbalist named Ge Hong, which dates all the way back to 300 AD. An old Chinese saying states, “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.”
Cupping was officially established as a therapeutic practice in the 1950s across hospitals in China. Prior to the 1950s, cupping had been practiced as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery. Since then Cupping has been growing in popularity, with celebrities drawing public attention to the traditional Chinese therapy technique. Recent studies have shown cupping’s effectiveness in reducing pain intensity and providing positive short-term benefits.
What Is Chinese Cupping?
Cupping is a technique that uses small glass cups or jars as suction devices placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface.
In dry cupping, your therapist will simply heat and place the suction cups on the skin.
In wet cupping, the practitioner will make a small incision on the skin and then apply the suction cup to draw out small amounts of blood.
There are several ways a trained practitioner can create the suction in the cups. One method involves swabbing rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin. Flames are never used near the skin but simply as a means to create the heat that causes the suction within the small cups.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin, which is called “gliding cupping”. Medical massage oils can be applied to improve movement of the glass cups along the skin. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. Bruising should be expected as a side effect of cupping, but skin should return to normal within 10 days.
Cupping With Acupuncture
Acupuncture and cupping are generally combined 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.
Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians. There are five meridian lines on the back, these are where the cups are usually placed. Using these points, cupping can help to align and relax qi, as well as target more specific maladies. By targeting the meridian channels, cupping strives to ‘open’ these channels – the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, through all tissues and organs, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi (life force).
Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be ‘cupped,’ thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.
More Benefits Of Chinese Cupping
Cupping therapy treatment is also valuable for the lungs and can clear congestion from a common cold or to help control asthma. Respiratory conditions are one of the most common ailments relieved with cupping.
Cupping has a significant detoxifying effect on skin and the circulatory system, with visible improvement in skin color after only three to five treatments. It removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries. Cupping also affects the digestive system. A few benefits include an improved metabolism, relief from constipation, a healthy appetite, and stronger digestion.
A 2015 report published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine noted cupping as an effective alternative method of treating acne, pain, facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, and herpes zoster.
As health practitioners and researchers continue studying the benefits of cupping, this traditional alternative care technique is gaining further acceptance, and wider practice across holistic healthcare centers in the U.S., as an effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments.
Chinese Cupping Therapy in Salt Lake @ ZenMassage.net
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