Cupping Therapy

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Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups of the skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get this treatment for many purposes; to help with blood flow, relaxation, and well-being as a type of deep tissue massage.

Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine to remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi). Qi is the flow of vital energy circulating through the body and the world around us, if the qi is disturbed, it can create stagnation (blockages) or imbalances in the body.

A therapeutic cupping treatment involves warming and placing cups usually made of glass, on the skin. By warming the air within the cup, a vacuum is created, and when it is applied to the skin, the tissue is drawn to the cup. This increases blood flow, loosens fascia or connective tissue, and is thought to stimulate healing. It is like the ways that deep tissue massage can be used to break up scar tissue and reduce pain. Cups are placed on the back, neck and shoulders or the site of pain. Cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness, depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of internal stagnation.

Potential Side-effects of Cupping:

Cupping frequently causes marks on the skin. This is due bringing blood to the surface, similar to a bruise. For patients with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or those who are being treated with anticoagulants, cupping may not be the treatment option. People with these conditions should discuss treatment with their doctor before receiving cupping treatment.