Cupping Therapy Basics
An ancient Egyptian text dating from 1550 BC mentions cupping therapy. This treatment was used in ancient times there as well as in China and the Middle East. This type of alternative therapy uses glass cups to provide suction on the skin. The purpose of cupping is to activate and energize the Qi to increase bodily warmth, muscle relaxation, and blood circulation.
Cupping is a treatment that can help your body heal itself when you have muscle pain or tightness. It helps increase the blood flow and can detoxify your body. It can help with many conditions, including:
- Back, neck, or shoulder pain
- Anxiety and stress
- Colds or flu
- Muscle tension
Fire cupping, the most common method, involves burning a cotton ball to create a vacuum inside the cup. The heat causes no discomfort, but you may feel a gentle pulling in your muscles and skin. The therapist determines where to place the cups based on the location of your pain as well as the meridians and acupuncture points. They may leave the cups in one place or move them for a more massage-like experience. They typically leave the cups on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes.
What to Expect After Cupping
Cupping marks show up after a cupping session. They look like a bruise on your skin. If you see darker cupping marks, it means that your circulation was more stagnated in those muscles. After about 7 to 10 days, the cupping marks should completely disappear.
Is Cupping Right for Me?
Cupping is a very safe treatment, especially for people who want to address pain issues without the use of drugs. For most people, there are no drawbacks. However, you should avoid getting cupping done in some instances, such as if you have a skin infection, open wound, or inflammation. Your therapist can guide you as you decide when and how often to get cupping treatments. They’ll talk to you about your concerns and create an individualized treatment plan for you. In most cases, you will need to have more than one cupping session to achieve your goals.