WHAT IS CUPPING?

Cupping has received quite a lot of press in recent times… this doesn’t mean that it is well understood or that its benefits are actually known.  Jennifer Aniston and Gwynneth Paltrow have sported some cupping plus some prominent sportspeople are big fans.  Being trendy doesn’t really cut it for me, but the results of cupping sure does!

To understand cupping, let’s move out of our “Western” way of thinking and venture into our “Eastern” mindset.  Ok, you there yet?

Remember, everything is made up of Qi. Our energy / lifeforce / source power.   Now, Qi flows around our body in many different ways and, like traffic on our roadways, it can pile up or get “stuck”.  The flow may be thwarted, there may be an accident and things may get stagnated.

Symptoms, may include muscle tension and pain.  Stiffness and soreness.  You may have general ailments, cold and flu, menstrual pain or sluggish digestion to name but a few.

The use of cups is to draw out the stagnation, clear external pathogens, unblock your roadways and get that traffic of Qi flowing smoothly again.  From a scientific and “Western” standpoint, cupping is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation, and is good for deep tissue repair.
 
What is it really?
Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (either by heat or suction) in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup.

Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain, where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled. Cupping has greater emphasis on the back acupuncture due to the ease with which it can be performed on the back.
At the Wooden Tiger we use glass cups (with fire to remove the oxygen and create suction) or plastic cups that the air is pumped from.  Cups can also be made from bamboo or porcelain.

There are 3 methods of cupping, one is really gross and best left in Ancient China called “Wet Cupping”.  This involves pricking of the skin prior to applying the cup.  This sucks the blood from the site.  Rest assured this is not common in modern clinics.
The other two are simply dry cupping, and sliding cupping.  Dry cupping is where the cups are placed and left to work their magic on the site or acupoint.  Sliding cupping is where the cups are placed then slid up and down the area of concern.  This is amazing for releasing longstanding muscle tension.
 
What Cupping Can Help
Cupping is generally recommended for the treatment of pain, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma), and paralysis, although it does have application for other problems.  Cupping can affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing the tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks, and improve the appearance of varicose veins.  It treats tight muscles anywhere in the body, remove numbness or pain – rheumatic or arthritic.  Very effective for menstrual pain or discharge, as is moxibustion (a topic for another day).  Plus in TCM speak, cupping expels exterior Wind and / or Damp.

Cupping should be done on fleshy areas of the body and should not be used on inflamed skin, where there is a high fever, convulsions or an increased tendency to bruise, or on the abdominal or lower back area during pregnancy. The cups should only be moved over fleshy areas of the body.

It does leave some marks on the body, these disappear within a few days.  They are just signs that the stagnation is on the move.

Want to know more or try it?  Give me a call!

Lisa - 0408 767 263 / 07 3432 9885

 

References:
Natural Therapy Pages http://tinyurl.com/nnz7nhb
Australian Institute of Applied Sciences