Cupping – An Ancient Chinese Remedy

cupping2The ancient therapy of “Cupping” is making a modern-day comeback in the Western world and being used to successfully treat neuromuscular dysfunctions, orthopedic injuries, chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, and even cellulite. In China, extensive research has been carried out on cupping, and the practice is a mainstay of government-sponsored hospitals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The fundamental therapeutic value of cupping has been documented through several thousand years of clinical and subjective experience and has advanced its application to many areas. Known for its miraculous healing and detoxification capabilities, this therapy is quickly becoming a favorite among celebrities – Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham are all reaping the healing benefits. 

Cupping is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin, which helps mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps). Cupping can be done using a stationary method where cups are placed in various areas and left for 10-15 minutes, this achieves a very deep and effective detoxification. Depending on the placement of the cups, it can target local (soft-tissue) stagnation as well as that of nearby organs. Practitioners can also use the cups to massage by first creating suction and then gliding the cups over the affected areas. This increases blood flow and archives a much deeper massaging of muscles and soft tissue than a traditional massage. In the case of cupping, the muscles are being pulled rather than pushed which can increase blood flow throughout the entire muscle – this in turn, speeds healing and gives the muscle a deeper state of relaxation.

cupping1Professional athletes have known the benefits of cupping for years. They not only use this therapy to increase circulation for tired and sore muscles, which speeds recovery, but they also use this as a highly effective method of detoxification. Since cupping helps to rid the body of stagnation and toxins that have been stored away in soft tissue and organs, swimmers use it to help rid their bodies of pool chemicals they are exposed to after hours of practice and competition.

My own experience with cupping has been profound. I have not only seen the benefits of using it as a soft-tissue massage – it has made wonderful improvement within the rigid muscles that remained after years of struggling with fibromyalgia and chronic muscle pain. Although my symptoms of fibromyalgia and the daily pain is long gone, my muscles were left with limited motion and very tight after years of debilitating pain. After just a few cupping sessions targeting my back, the muscles returned to being supple and flexible, something that two years of physical therapy using traditional massage had never accomplished. Cupping massages are like none other that I have ever experienced. Even a deep tissue massage has its limits since the pressure is coming from one direction, but with a cupping massage, the muscle is being stimulated from underneath as well, and the after effect is a much deeper relaxation of the muscle.

I was intrigued by the rapid results that cupping massage had provided and decided to also experiment with the detoxification method of cupping, which is done with stationary cups. This was nothing short of fascinating! Many people confuse the marks left by the cups as bruises, I can attest that they are definitely not. However, they can be a very accurate display of what is going on deep below the skin. The marks, which are actually an accumulation of stagnant blood and or toxins, are often different colors depending on what is being expelled, sometimes reddish or purple, and sometimes a brownish color. As these toxins and stagnant blood are brought to the surface through the suction of the cups, the body is able to remove them through the skin and lymph. In the beginning of my therapy, I had very dark reddish/purple marks at almost all of the cupping sites, now after several weeks of regular therapy, I have very little marking afterwards, sometimes I have no marks at all – indicating a less toxic system. The results go well beyond the physical marks, my overall energy is greatly improved and the issues I had been having with hormone imbalance when I first began treatment, have all been resolved.

Check out http://www.cuppingtherapy.org/ to find a Cupping Practitioner near you. If you live in Mexico, make an appointment with Jessica Lusk 322-160-9597 – she’s the best!