Cupping therapy is the method of using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum. The vacuum inside the cups causes the blood to form in the area and help the healing in that area. The low air pressure required may be created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame, then placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin slightly inside.
Depending on the specific treatment, skin marking is common after the cups are removed. This may be a simple red ring that disappears quickly, but more aggressive treatments can result in deeper bruising. In general, the longer a cup is left on, the more of a circular mark is created. the red marks are not permanent and will fade and eventually disappear in about a week. Usually treatments are not painful.
How Cupping Therapy Works
Ancient Chinese medicine have believed that the body contains "Meridians". These meridians are pathways in the body which the energy of life called Qi ("chi") flows through. It flows through every body part, tissue, and organ. Cupping therapy is mainly performed on one's back because there are five meridians on your back. When these meridians are opened, the internal energy is able to flow through the whole body. Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the ‘Meridians’ of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.
Another healing aspect of cupping therapy is through the release of toxins in our body. The suction from the cups can penetrate deep into your tissues. Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release harmful toxins, trigger the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins. Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available. Cupping is very useful and very safe.
Cupping therapy works by reducing the pain we feel in our bodies. In alternative medicine, pain is believed to be caused by problems relating to our Qi flow. This can be related to stress in the body, imbalances of hormones and fluids, lack of blood flow, and temperature in the muscles and joints. When a suction cup is place on a problem area, the vacuum pull of the cup creates warmth in the area and brings fresh blood to the area and improves circulation, so it is widely used for aches and pain relief.
The therapy is used to dispel stagnation—stagnant blood and lymph, thereby improving qi flow—to treat respiratory diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis, and digestive problems.