What is cupping?


Cupping is quite an ancient form of alternative therapy dating back to 1550 BC. Though the exact origin of cupping therapy is not known, its use has been documented in early Egyptian and Chinese medical practices.In ancient times, it was used generally for lung conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia, however, today it is widely used for pain relief and muscle relaxation.

Cupping is a technique that uses small cups that are either first heated with fire or manually pumped to create a suction when placed on the skin. With fire cupping, a suction is created by burning an alcohol-soaked cotton ball that is briefly held in the cup. The heat in the cup removes all the oxygen and creates a vacuum that leads to increased blood flow to certain areas of the body.  Increased blood circulation promotes healing and reduces pain.

There are two popular types of cupping: stationary and sliding.

Stationary cupping uses suction only. The cups are kept in place usually 5 to 10 minutes.

Sliding cupping is more like a deep tissue massage. Before the cupping procedure, a small amount of herbal oil is applied to the skin that enables the cups to move up and down,following the lines of the meridians.

Both types of cupping help to release toxins, clear blockages, loosen thetight muscles,and sedate the nervous system.

An ancient Chinese saying:

''Where there's stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.''

Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, many diseases including pain arise from stagnation of vital energy and/or blood. Therefore, cupping is a valuable method of clearing the blockages to restore the free flow of the vital energy which alleviates pain.

Cupping is painless; however, it usually causes red circular marks on the skin which may last for a few days. These red marks indicate that the blood is pulled into that area. The color of the marks represents the severity of the stagnation. The more often you receive cupping, the lighter the marks will be as the stagnation resolves.

What are the benefits of cupping?

  • -Alleviates musculoskeletal pain: Chronic lower back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia
  • -Reduces muscle stiffness
  • -Increases the blood circulation
  • -Activates the lymphatic system to remove excess fluids and toxins
  • -Reduces anxiety
  • -Helps to boost the immune system