Cupping is one of the oldest modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine used to expel the body of toxins. An accumulation of toxins and waste can stagnate in the muscles due to poor circulation, blockage of Qi (energy), or an injury that never fully healed. The vacuum action of cupping releases these toxins by targeting the meridian channels—through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, and provides a smoother and more free flowing Qi.
In China, cupping is mainly used for respiratory conditions (bronchitis, asthma, congestion), arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain types of pain. It can also be used to treat depression and reduce swelling. Explore the benefits of cupping if you seek relief from stress, fatigue, pain, allergies, cold/flu, fever, back pain, anxiety, muscle aches, red itchy skin conditions, etc.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The goal of cupping is to enhance circulation, relieve pain, and remove “heat” by pulling out the lingering toxins that have accumulated in the body’s tissues. Releasing these toxins results in cleared blockages and refreshed veins and arteries. It can be thought of as the inverse of massage—rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction action uses pressure to pull the skin, tissues, and muscles upward, making it one of the best deep tissue therapies available.
Cupping is conducted by placing glass jars on the skin and creating a vacuum that pulls the underlying skin in an upward motion into the cup. Drawing up the skin opens up the skin’s pores, leading to enhanced blood flow, a balanced and realigned flow of Qi, a breakdown of obstructions, and a one-way avenue for toxins to leave the body.
THE INFAMOUS CUPPING MARKS:
Please do not be alarmed of the marks that accompany cupping therapy! The marks themselves are not bruises, but rather indicate the amount of coldness and pain that one has in a particular area (darker marks indicate more cold, damp, pain-ridden areas). In fact, the varying colors that can occur help determine where the problem is most severe and where the cups should be focused. They simply indicate that a pathogen has been brought to the surface; however, they do not have to be present to indicate that therapeutic benefits are taking place.
One can expect the marks to drastically decrease in intensity after 24 hours. In most cases, they will completely vanish after 7 days; however the most intense dark coloring may take upwards of 10 days to completely disappear. This serves as an indication that it is time for another treatment! While the marks are not something to fear, they are something to be aware of if considering this Chinese modality.