Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a trained therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. Cupping and acupuncture are similar in that they both promote re-balancing the body by drawing blood flow to areas of the body that are experiencing inflammation, prone to low lymphatic circulation or experiencing poor blood flow. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove heat and pull out the toxins that buildup and linger in your body’s tissues.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping involves the use of cups applied to a patient’s back in a series of positions in order to produce suction. The vacuum effect targets areas of skin and deep tissue within the back, which is beneficial for dulling pain, breaking up deep scar tissue, and relaxing tender muscles or connective tissue. In this way, cupping is almost like the opposite of getting a massage since instead of applying pressure to swollen areas, it draws pressure out. For this reason, cupping is often done in patients who experience chronic lower back pain, muscle knots, tightness due to anxiety, swelling or stiffness.
The most popular technique for cupping, called “dry cupping” or “fire cupping,” involves a trained practitioner first placing cups on the patients back and then carefully heating the cups. The hot cups are sealed off and held in place for several minutes on the patient’s back while they cool down, which produces a vacuum effect. The cups contract while on the patient’s skin, causing suctioning, stretching out skin tissue and improving blood flow while facilitating healing.
Who can benefit from Therapeutic Cupping?
Cupping healers throughout the years have successfully treated a variety of symptoms and diseases that couldn’t be cured by conventional methods, including pulmonary tuberculosis, colds, back pains, muscle spasms and pinched nerves. Traditionally cupping has also been used in patients with blood disorders (like anemia), rheumatic diseases like arthritis, fertility problems and mental illnesses.
What we do know from scientific studies that have been done is that cupping works by expanding the capillaries and increasing the amount of fluid entering and leaving tissues. Besides this, cupping therapy seems to provoke a relaxation response in some people, which means it’s useful for lowering stress and its negative effects. One of the biggest advantages to trying alternative practices like cupping therapy, acupuncture or massage therapy is that these methods don’t pose the risk for unwanted side effects like pharmacological drugs or surgery do.
Types conditions that can benefit from Cupping Therapy include:
- Respiratory infections
- Blood disorders, such as anemia and hemophilia
- Joint pain caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Migraine and tension headaches
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Fertility and gynecological disorders
- Skin problems such as herpes, eczema and acne
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Mental disorders, anxiety and depression
- Food allergies and asthma
- Varicose veins and cellulite
If you are interested in learning more about Cupping Therapy, or believe that it may be helpful to improving your condition, call Toledo’s Cupping Therapy experts at 3D Wellness today at (419) 367-1417.