How Cupping Works
Cupping is a practical way to drain fluids and toxins from various areas of the body, break up adhesions and lift and pull connective tissue, increase blood flow to stagnant muscle tissue and sooth the nervous system. Cupping is done by creating negative pressure inside a small one-to two-inch cup (approximately). When the cup is placed on the skin with suction, it pulls the skin up into the cup, and the negative pressure produces its therapeutic results. Practitioners may use a pump or a flame heat to create the suction.
The History of Cupping
Cupping has a long history and was first practiced in China and then in Egypt. From Egypt, cupping was introduced to the Greeks and eventually Europe, and was even used in America in the late 1800s. In fact, breast cupping for lactation dysfunctions has evolved into the breast pump we are familiar with today. There is an age-old tradition of using cupping to improve the physical condition.
Surprising Uses of Cupping
Cupping can be used for fibromyalgia patients, to reduce post-injury scar tissue, for chronic pain and post-surgery adhesions. Cupping is commonly used for bronchitis and asthma. In fact, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, cupping was done regularly in households across the country to treat these conditions, as well as for chest colds and flu.
Furthermore, cupping is used regularly in traditional Chinese medicine for digestive conditions and diarrhea, shoulder pain and frozen shoulder, headaches and migraines, infertility and menstruation problems, colds, acne, insomnia and soft tissue injuries.
Styles of Cupping:
There are two styles of cupping: moving and stationary. To perform moving cupping, oil must be applied to the skin before the cup is placed in order to allow for the cup to slide. Once the cup is placed, the practitioner will glide the cup up or down along the muscle pathway, breaking up adhesions and lengthening tissue by “pulling” it up and along. Stationary cups can be left on the body from 5 – 15 minutes. The stationary cups allow congestion and stagnation to break up and drain through the skin.
Both stationary and moving cupping are an excellent method of draining inflammation from the body by bringing it to the surface so that it can dissipate more readily.
NOTE: Cupping is relatively safe, if done by a trained practitioner, but it may leave dark circles on the surface of the skin as seen on the Olympic athletes in the competitions and even on the red carpet runway on the backs of celebrities. While harmless, these marks can appear quite disturbing. They may take as long a week to clear up