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What is Chinese Cupping? 

If it’s pain relief you’re after, our blend of massage cupping and deep tissue massage will literally pull the pain out of the tissues – and it feels amazing!  

Cupping is one of the many services we offer and is a technique that uses different-sized plastic or glass suction cups, which pull stagnant blood to a specific region to stimulate healing. It is effective at stretching tight fascia and muscles. Cupping helps the tissue develop new blood flow and causes anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body. 

Cupping simultaneously pulls toxins from the muscle, fascia and tissues to the surface to be flushed out, and also pulls new blood and oxygen and nutrients into the muscle, fascia and tissue to heal and replenish. Cupping helps relax tense muscles and ease stiffness associated with chronic pain and neck pains, migraines, rheumatism and fatigue.  

 

What are those marks that cupping leaves on the body? 

The marks left by cupping are not bruises, per say. Bruises are caused by blunt trauma to the skin that cause capillaries and blood vessels to burst beneath the surface. Cupping does not involve any force that causes a bruise, as it is typically defined.  

Those who practice cupping classify marks. The darker they are, the more “stagnant” your blood was and the poorer condition that area is in. The darkness shows that the disease or underlying problem condition has been pulled to the surface of the skin and new blood can get underneath and provide fresh circulation. The marks are actually the toxins and old blood that has been pulled from the tissue to the surface to be flushed out by the body.  

Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain, where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled.  

Cupping is based on the meridian theory of the body. On one hand, cupping removes any stagnation in the body and opens the meridians so that qi (vital energy that is held to animate the body internally) can flow freely. On the other, it also helps to rejuvenate certain meridians and organs that are not functioning at their best. From a scientific standpoint, cupping is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation and is good for deep tissue repair. 

 

What conditions and diseases are treated with cupping? 

One of the most common reasons people turn to alternative treatment methods is because they are looking for a safe way to naturally reduce joint pain and muscle pain.  

Cupping is generally recommended for the treatment of pain, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma) and paralysis, although it does have application for other problems. It should be done on fleshy areas of the body and should not be used on inflamed skin, where there is a high fever, convulsions or an increased tendency to bruise, or on the abdominal or lower back area during pregnancy.  

Cupping can affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing the tissues to release toxins. It can also activate the lymphatic system by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which has been associated with reductions in lung diseases (especially chronic coughs) allergies, infections and asthma. Commonly used to help nourish the lungs and clear away phlegm or congestion, cupping can be useful for speeding up healing time from respiratory illnesses like the flu or common colds.   

 

Cupping can also clear colon blockages, activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve the appearance of varicose veins. 

 

Who should NOT get cupping? 

For clients with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or who are being treated with anticoagulants, cupping may not be the best treatment option. People with these conditions should discuss the pros and cons of treatment with their doctor before receiving cupping. Cupping should not be performed on skin sites with active inflammation, burns, infection or open wounds. 

 

What are some side effects of cupping? 

Some people experience soreness, marks on the skin (sha), tension relief, more mobility. Very few people experience a toxic response of nausea or lightheadedness, which passes as the toxins are flushed out of the system. 

 

Most people are okay to receive cupping; however, if you have health issues and are unsure if you should receive cupping therapy, you should always consult your doctor first. QCBN 

 By Amanda Barnett 

 

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