Cupping has gained steadfast popularity in the modern world recently due to the Rio Olympics, however, this practice has actually been around since about 1000 B.C, and has been a popular Chinese Medicine practice for quite some time. It is an alternative therapy, akin to acupuncture, that provides many great health benefits without the harmful side effects that mainstream medicine and pharmaceuticals pose to your body.
What is Cupping?
Cupping is a type of therapy that is performed by applying heated cups to the skin which creates suction as a way to stimulate blood flow, as well as the flow of energy in the body. Most commonly, glass and bamboo cups are applied along the meridian of the body.
Numerous health benefits come with this simple process. Various herbs make up a substance that most doctors set on fire and then place the cup. Once the flame has gone out, the cup is placed upside down onto the skin creating a vacuum inside the cup which slowly pulls the skin upward and into the cup. After the skin has fully risen inside of each cup, the therapist will leave in place for around three minutes.
What Does Cupping Actually Do?
Cupping by creating a vacuum, and pulling skin upwards causes the reddening and expanding of body cells. This works to treat a variety of conditions because the blood cells aid in the stimulation of blood flow to aid in recovery.
Benefits of Cupping
Cupping has been used for a wide variety of conditions. The British Cupping Society lists several conditions they use cupping for:
• Migraines and headaches
• Anemia and hemophilia
• Varicose veins
• High blood pressure
• Sore muscles
• Muscles aches and cramps
• Acne and eczema
Five Main Reasons People Use Cupping:
Athletes have used cupping to reduce pain and fatigue. As cupping stimulates the flow of blood it reduces recovery time. Recently, Michael Phelps used the therapy as a way to decrease the amount of time it took him to regain energy and to help him bounce back before starting his next even at the Olympics.
Cupping is also effective for lower back and joint pain, due to how it works similar to a deep tissue massage which relaxes muscles that are associated with these types of pain. Cupping has the ability to target soft tissue because it applies pressure to specific points and areas of swelling. With the blood vessels expanded, the tissue can now receive extra nutrients and oxygen that the newly expanded blood vessels create.
Since cupping is similar to a massage, it also provides a very calming and relaxing atmosphere, that can easy tension and anxiety tremendously. As the cups target tension from the deepest parts of the body, it then aids in releasing this tension which helps to lower stress responses. This means that overall anxiety and depression can both be treated with cupping.
Stress is one of the major triggers for an unhealthy digestive system. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is highly associated with stress, and due to this, cupping has been used to relieve stomach pain, diarrhea, gastritis, along with various other digestive issues. The energy that begins to flow in the process of cupping releases tension in and around the digestive tract, while also providing the abdomen with more nutrients and oxygen.
Acne, skin inflammation and even herpes have been treated with cupping. By expanding the capillaries, additional blood flow helps tone the skin while as well as detoxing the area which helps rid the skin of acne. Wet cupping is another form of cupping that is truly beneficial for skin problems. A small cut is made in the cup before application of the cup performed. This incision in the cup aids in extraction of toxins from the body.
Varicose veins and cellulite also can be treated in this same manner. Increased blood flow tightens the skin, which treats cellulite and varicose veins.
By moving fluid throughout the body, cupping increases the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid through your system. Both of these aid in helping the body defend itself from illness and toxins. Cupping also provides the extraction and removal of phlegm and congestion from the body.
Cupping enhances circulation, which alleviates pain, and removes heat, while it works as a type of detox that removes lingering toxins deep within the tissues of our body. It is not a very well-known practice similar to other forms of Eastern medicine, like acupuncture, however, it is gaining popularity due to the attention recently gained in the midst of the Olympics. Cupping can be quite effective, and as a natural treatment, it helps to treat many health conditions while improving the overall health and function of the body.