Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a cup, usually glass, is placed on the skin and the internal pressure is reduced (either by heat or suction) in order to stretch and maintain the skin and superficial muscles. Sometimes, while the suction is active, the cup moves, causing the skin and muscles to stretch.
Cupping Therapy is especially beneficial in :
- All kinds of body pains
- Sprains and Strains
- Dull aches and Arthritis
- Edema and swellings
- Respiratory problems
- Painful menstruation with low back pain
- Excessive mucus in body
Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points, and parts of the body that have been affected. It is applied more frequently on the back because of the ease with which it can be performed on that part of the body. Most doctors use the Shu points on the back or the meridian of the bladder and the dazhui point. It is frequently practiced after an acupuncture session.
This cupping therapy is based on the theory of the meridians of the body. It eliminates any stagnation in the body and opens the meridians so that the Qi can flow freely and also helps in rejuvenating specific meridians and organs that are not functioning at their optimum capacity.
From a scientific point of view, Baguanfa helps to activate the lymphatic system, to promote blood circulation and is effective for the repair of deep tissue.
Cupping Therapy Procedure
As a general rule, cups or glass cups are used as suckers, although there are also bamboo cups. Nowadays, these cups are equipped with a valve that is connected to a small hand pump, which allows the practitioner to suck the air. This gives them more control over the amount of suction. In the past, suction was achieved with heat.
To allow the cups to move smoothly on the skin, oils are used that have been infused with extracts of medicinal herbs. The cups are applied at room temperature, but the friction generated when moving them causes a small but specific amount of heat, especially oils with rubefacient properties are also used.
The glasses are left in place for ten minutes, although the time may vary from five to fifteen minutes. The skin becomes red because of the congestion of the blood flow. The cup is then removed from the skin by pressing on one side, which allows a little air to enter and deactivate the suction. It is normal for some bruises to form on the areas of skin that were suctioned.
How can cup therapy help?
It is generally recommended for the treatment of pain, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma) although its application can be beneficial for many other problems.
It should be done on areas of the body with a certain degree of surface and should not be used on the inflamed skin when there is high fever, seizures or propensity to bruise. Neither should apply on the abdomen or lower back during pregnancy.
It can affect the body up to four inches below the tissues, causing toxins to be released, activating the lymphatic system, eliminating blockages of the colon, activating and cleaning the veins, arteries and capillaries and improving the appearance of the skin.