A standard practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the benefits of cupping are twofold; not only does a cupping treatment provide relief and healing for the recipient, it also provides the practitioner with a valuable snapshot of what’s happening inside the body! (A win-win for everyone.)
It’s no wonder then that cupping has also found its way into the healing practices of many other indigenous cultures, spanning Northern and Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East, and North America.
Like acupuncture, cupping is beneficial for a wide array of ailments such as: muscle pain, sports injuries, colds & flus, asthma, stress, anxiety, headaches, allergies, endometriosis, fatigue, insomnia, and even jetlag!
Cupping is the process of placing silicon, plastic, or glass cups onto the skin while removing the air inside to create a vacuum on an acupuncture point or an area of injury for a therapeutic effect. While using fire with glass cups is the traditional method of creating suction, I prefer suction pump cups for ease of use, or silicone press cups for their comfort and ability to mould easily around joints.
Cupping creates suction, and it feels similar to placing your hand on the end of your vacuum nozzle. There is a moment, about 1-2 minutes into the treatment where you stop noticing the suction of skin and muscle from the cups, and your body suddenly surrenders all of the tension it has been holding inside. There is a weightlessness that sets in, and you feel as if you’ve been suspended from above, where time doesn’t exist.
It’s a glorious place to be!
Cupping helps to remove stagnant energy from the body by assisting blood and lymphatic circulation. As a result, pathogens are cleared out of the system more quickly, making room for oxygen and nutrient rich blood to flow back into the treated area.
And in treating physical injuries, cupping helps to break up myofascial “fuzz” (stagnation) to improve muscle flexibility and mobility.
In the simplest terms, cupping assists your body’s detox process (ie. removing the bad guys), releases tension, and increases the flow of essential nutrients to the treated area.
A cupping session can leave marks, but rest assured they are not at all painful, and they aren’t permanent!
And while cupping marks might not be the prettiest, they actually hold a lot of information for us practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, like little snapshots of what is going on inside your body. Cupping marks can pinpoint where an old trauma has settled, and indicate how efficient your body is at healing and recovery. Darker circles tell us that a chronic issue is lingering, or that an acute trauma to the area has recently occured. And, the speed at which the marks go away is a great indicator of how efficiently blood and lymphatic fluid are circulating, or if more sessions are needed.
Newcomers to acupuncture often ask me if they have to get cupping during an acupuncture treatment. The answer is no; acupuncture is plenty powerful on its own. However; I love using cupping in my practice because of what it can do for the body and how it can enhance an acupuncture treatment.
Cupping is like the icing on your acupuncture cake, making you feel lighter in your body yet solidly grounded.
For more details on the benefits of cupping and what to expect, or to book an appointment, visit our cupping treatment page here.
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