Cupping is a lesser known therapy of Chinese medicine but one that is highly therapeutic and pleasant to experience. It is similar to receiving a deep tissue massage. It can be combined with acupuncture or used alone. It involves the use of plastic or glass cups or bamboo jars that are placed on the skin once a suction is created. A negative pressure (suction) for glass cups is created by lighting an alcohol soaked cotton ball with a flame, inserting the flame into the cup, removing the flame, and placing the jar onto the skin. Plastic cup suction is created by using a pistol grip hand pump. All cups are washed with warm soap and water then sterilized with hospital grade disinfectant.
Many compare cupping to massage. Instead of applying pressure directly to the muscles, I use the cups to gently pull the skin and superficial muscle layers upward. This tends to be a powerfully relaxing sensation. In addition, the suction forces oxygen rich blood toward the cup which saturates local tissues with healing nutrients. Cupping encourages blood flow, loosens tense muscles and sedates the nervous system.
What Cupping Helps With
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory conditions such as chest congestion, common cold and asthma