People unfamiliar with the treatment often misconstrue the markings and bruises left by cupping sessions. They believe them to be evidence of domestic and other kinds of abuse, or they are simply nervous when they see the marks.
On the contrary, these are marks of an ancient healing process used to help the body. Celebrities and Olympics athletes getting cupping therapy now proudly show off the marks in public.
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People more familiar with cupping procedures are aware that the markings are indications that the treatment has been successful in drawing out harmful pathogens and toxins. These toxins are present in the deeper tissues of the body along with stagnant, dead blood cells and lymph, and debris of worn out body cells.
Cupping suction brings them to the surface, just under the skin from where they are metabolized by the body’s natural processes. Removal of these toxins makes way for fresh blood, new, living cells, oxygen, and nutrients to take their place and in this way, heal the body.
Why Cupping Marks are Not Bruises?
Cupping marks cannot be called bruises simply because of the way bruises are caused. Bruises appear when the body experiences some kind of blunt injury or trauma. The impact can break the blood capillaries present under the skin, which is why you see the redness. The body responds to the injuries with a rush of healing fluids to the area that also contribute to the bruising or redness. When the proteins at the injury site begin to coagulate, blood circulation reduces and the patient feels pain.
Cupping marks are caused by suction from the cupping set instead of the pressure in case of trauma, and works to bring toxins to the surface. The most important differentiating factor is the cupping marks do not cause pain and if there is any discomfort, it is minimal and goes away quickly. It is also common to use silicone cupping sets for relaxation. These sets (like the one shown below) allow the cup to glide across the skin like a massage instead of focusing on one particular area.
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Duration and Indicators of the Marks
Some of the first questions people have are regarding how long cupping marks will last and what they indicate. The coloring typically ranges from bright red to a darker purple, and can last from 3 days to a week. A darker coloring means that there is a high level of toxins and stagnation in the section of the body that has been treated. In this case, the marks can last for up to 3 weeks. However, if there are hardly any toxins, the coloring could be just a light pink and is likely to dissipate within a few hours.
Patients also note that even if the initial treatments cause darker colored marks, subsequent sessions result in lighter and lighter marks as the pathogens leave the body. After a point, there will be no marks whatsoever even if more intense suction is performed and for longer durations at a given time. However, in cases where the patient has experienced an injury, multiple cupping sessions may be needed to induce healing in the deeper tissues of the body.
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Colorings and Marks Explained
Aside from light and dark colorings, sometimes the skin treated with cupping displays other types of symptoms that indicate the presence of toxins. They can be black spots, purple spots, minute blisters, or very tiny spots.
Blisters reveal that there are accumulated fluids in the tissues. If the skin becomes pale, that could be an indication of anemia and a deficiency of “qi” or life energy.
Conditions that can Affect the Markings
Patients that lead a very active lifestyle and indulge in vigorous physical activities that involve heavy sweating typically have lower chances of getting marks. In case of patients that spend most of their time in locations where there are toxins in the environment, are likely to display more markings because of the poisons that get absorbed in their bodies.
Some examples include athletes that spend time in swimming pools that have chemicals in them or workers working in factories with toxic materials and metals. Emotional stress, the conscious or unconscious ingestion of drugs, and parasitic infections can all result in impurities in the body.
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