Cupping Therapy:Cupping Therapy
What is Cupping?
Cupping is an ancient Chinese alternative therapy, often used in combination with acupuncture and Tui Na massage. Celebrities such as Gwyneth PaItrow, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Aniston have popularised the traditional therapy, and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is also an advocate of the practice. It is used to increase blood flow, and detoxify areas of the body to soothe inflammation, ease localised pain, improve circulation and aid lymphatic drainage. Cupping also restores balance in the body (yin and yang in Chinese medicine).
How does the treatment work?
Practitioners take a glass, bamboo or silicone cup and use fire, alcohol or herbs to draw the air out of the cup before placing it on the patient’s skin. This suctions the skin and muscle up into the cup, relieving tension, tackling knotted muscles and drawing out toxins. Several cups may be applied to the skin and gently moved around the body to give a deep tissue massage. The cups are left on the skin generally for 10 minutes. It is an intense therapy, and clients often experience tingling and a warm sensation. The cups can leave red or purple marks on the areas treated. These marks usually fade after a few days. Slight bruising can also occur.
I have used cupping to treat clients with the following: pain issues, back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, sports injuries and joint movement issues. Sessions usually last between 20 minutes. I often combine cupping with other complementary treatments such as acupuncture, Tui Na massage, myofascial release therapy. Cupping therapy is not recommended for pregnant women. Again, the number of treatments varies according to each individual needs. You may chose to have a cupping session at the end of your regular acupuncture treatments or you may have cupping sessions instead of acupuncture.