Cupping Therapy

I’ve been doing cupping therapy for over 15 years, and have seen good result from cupping therapy.  Cupping is a process of remove the air from a cup then places it on the skin. Cupping can bring out cold, blood stagnation, heat and damp, According to Chinese medicine these are all pathogens for the body, this means they can cause disruptions to the body’s energy flow.  In Chinese medicine, when there is an interruption or disturbance in the flow of Qi (life energy) you get unwellness in the body.

When you have had cupping done, you are some times left with a thing looking like a bruise, this is not a bruise but a cup mark, the difference is a cup mark should not hurt when it’s touched.

The colour of the mark is dependant on the level of blood stagnation in the muscle, stagnation happens when the muscle get tight and no longer contracts properly to help  pumps the blood back to the heart..  The Australian Institute of Sport did a biopsy of a cup make once and the test came back deoxygenised blood. The oxygen level of the blood got depleted as it was sitting there for so long. We know blood carries old and bad stuff to be cleaned, image it just sitting there. Cupping bring that stagnate blood to the surface for the lymph to carry away.

I treated a client a long time ago and her cup mark we cold, it was like someone left an ice cold drink on her back. This is normally a result of the body being exposed to cold wind, cold rooms even leaning against cold surfaces. This is mostly referred to a chill in the muscle.

I have seen all manner of cup marks in my time on clients and myself. Sometime it looks quite scary, a friend and acupuncturist came in for cupping on here shoulder and she came out will some great marks. Being a hot day she wore a tank top, she didn’t mind the marks showing. A woman came up and abused her for staying in a bad relationship, and another said “you poor dear”. She did have to explain what they were.  Police have been called in because of the marks on kids and teachers not aware of what they are. My nephew loves showing his off at school; the teachers there know what they are so it was no big deal.

One night I was up at mum’s and she was cupping my nephew (I tort her how) and my 2yo niece lay on the ground and was trying to life her top so she could get cupped. So I did her back.

When Gwyneth Paltrow turn up for a New York film premiere in a low cut top revealing a back covered in large circular marks. It gave cupping a boost in awarenessGwyneth Paltrow

Cupping should not hurt, if so, there is too much suction and tell the practitioner this.

There are 2 types of cupping that I do:

Stationary:  This mean the cups sit in one place and are normally placed on acupuncture point or acu (a-shoe) points meaning point of pain. But some methods place cups randomly, I did a workshop once and they went through the different cultures that have used cupping. And they tort blanket cupping, this is where a particular parts of the body is covered in cups. This feels so cool.

Sliding:  This is where the cups are put on with a little less suction and with the aid of oil on the body to slide it around the body. This can leave red marks and if it is over done it can leave you feeling sore. This method is great for bringing out heat.

There are 2 types of cupping equipment that practitioners use:

Vacuum Cups, this is where there air is removed using a vacuum pump, this is a quick and easy method for doing cupping  which mean it great for clinic and home users after they learn how.

Flame Cups, this is where a flame is used to heat the air inside to create the vacuum, Not recommended for untrained people as it can lead to burns.

Benefits of cupping

  • Improve circulations
  • Remove blood stagnation
  • Relieves muscle tension
  • Remove cold, heat and dampness from the body
  • Help with cellulite
  • Helps with scaring and stretchmarks
  • Restores energy flow
  • Relieves pain
  • Help get over cold and flu faster
  • Sports injuries

There are a load of things cupping can help with, but like all therapies there are the few people that won’t find help here. The only way to know if it can help you is to have a try.