Cupping therapy is a 3,000-year old healing modality that was developed by different cultures across the world. The earliest accounts of the practice of cupping therapy and its many benefits emerged from China though researchers are still unsure if travelers carried it to other countries from the point of origin. Called by different names, healers have used cupping to treat various ailments ranging from musculoskeletal, dermal, and digestive to psychological conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety. The therapy can also be used to treat physical illnesses that result from mental stress and anxiety.
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The most interesting feature of cupping is that you can use it in conjunction with other forms of healing to enhance their results. Though, science is not quite sure how the modality works, millions of people across the world have shown marked improvements after using the therapy. It is safe, non-invasive, and rarely has any side effects if taken from a well-trained, certified therapist. Here are the main categories of ailments that cupping therapy can help you with:
- Cupping for Relief From Pain
Relief from pain and discomfort is one of the main objectives why people opt for cupping therapy. The therapy can provide relief from pain resulting from various conditions like neck pain, back pain, rheumatism, migraines, and cancer. By getting cupping therapy, you might find that the pain is easing more effectively as compared to using analgesics and other medications.
Cupping targets deep tissues by creating suction and lifting the skin over the muscles because of which the blood vessels and capillaries expand. As the area receives a fresh infusion of blood, it is flooded with nutrients and oxygen that work to heal the damage and injuries. In addition, the blood carries away the accumulation of toxins, dead cells, and other debris that may be hampering healing and causing pain. As a result of better blood circulation, the tensed muscles and stiff tissues relax. Not only is the discomfort alleviated but the patients also sense relaxation that helps lower stress levels.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and other ancient healing modalities also believe in the flow of energy in the body. When this energy flow is obstructed by illnesses and injuries, the body responds with pain and stiffness. Cupping on the fleshy sections of the body such as the shoulder blades, lower back, neck, and groin can open the obstructions so that the energy flow is activated and healing stimulated. Modern day practitioners may choose to use cupping therapy along with acupressure, massage therapy, and heat therapy.
2. Cupping to Promote Relaxation
Cupping therapy gives you the same effects of a deep tissue massage but by way of reverse pressure. As your tensed muscles relax because of the improved blood flow, you’ll sense relief from the stress and anxiety. When the blocked energy in your body starts to flow more freely, you feel a deep sense of relaxation and well-being as the nervous system is sedated and calmed. Since each session of cupping therapy can take around 30 minutes, therapists also believe that the simple act of lying very still has a therapeutic effect.
3. Cupping to Promote Healing from Injuries
Whenever your body suffers an injury, it reacts by flooding the body with blood that brings healing elements and components to the damaged tissues. As a result, you see inflammation and sense pain. Modern healing recommends medication and treatments that reduce the swelling and end up stopping the healing process before it is complete. Cupping works to cause inflammation in the tissues by drawing blood to the tissues and restarting the healing.
For this reason, athletes opt for the modality. It works to bring nutrients to their muscles and heals the micro tears that occur because of the rigorous training they undertake. Most important, it helps carry away the toxins released by the repairing of tissues. In this way, cupping heals the knots and adhesions in the tissues. Any kind of injuries including plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other musculoskeletal issues respond very well to cupping therapy.
4. Cupping for Clear, Flawless Skin
By improving blood circulation, cupping therapy can improve the appearance of the skin. That’s because the suction has the effect of promoting the rejuvenation of the layer of collagen and elastin under the skin. When this layer produces more cells and plumps up, the skin also looks and feels better. Any kind of skin conditions including diseases like herpes, eczema, the orange-peel effect caused by cellulite, and acne scars can all be healed with cupping therapy.
You can also use the modality to erase signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and folds of skin. Dermatologists may use the suction after applying soothing salves, essential oils, and lotions. That’s because cupping can help in the better absorption of the salves into the skin so that it is nourished and all dryness is repaired. It can also assist in the reduction of fluid build up in the skin so the puffiness is removed.
5. Cupping for Better Digestion
When cupping therapy is performed on the abdomen, it works to release the stress and stiffness in the muscles. As the tissues relax, better movement is induced in the working of the digestive system. Any issues you had such as chronic stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), loss of appetite, flatulence, and other gastrointestinal diseases can all be cured with the help of cupping therapy. Given that gastric disease is often linked to stress and anxiety, cupping therapy may be the perfect answer to the issues.
6. Cupping for Relief from Respiratory Issues
Cupping therapy is highly effective in helping you with respiratory issues such as colds, the flu, congestion, cough, buildup of phlegm, and pulmonary tuberculosis. When suction is performed on the chest, it has the effect of promoting blood flow and the draining of lymph fluid. For this reason, cupping can help you with asthma, seasonal allergies, and chest infections.
7. Cupping for Detoxification
As all medical practitioners will tell you, an accumulation of toxins in the body can cause many different ailments and illnesses. You can also become more susceptible to infections. Cupping therapy can help you by helping the toxins, dead cells, and other metabolic waste move to the lymphatic system so the body eliminates them naturally. To help the movement of waste out of your body, your therapist will likely recommend that you drink lots of water after a cupping session.
Cupping therapy can help you will many medical and cosmetic issues. And, the best positive is that even if you feel it is not effective, it is not likely to cause any adverse effects either. With millions of people swearing by the amazing benefits of the healing modality, you can try it and see for yourself. For a more in depth look at cupping therapy, check out our Cupping Benefits page.
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Kiefer, David. MD. “Cupping Therapy” WebMD. 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Axe, Josh. Dr. “Cupping Therapy: Alternative Medicine for Pain, Immunity & Digestion.” Dr Axe Food is Medicine. n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Bright, Sierra. “9 Reasons Everyone Should Try Cupping Therapy.” Natural Living Ideas. 8 Aug. 2016. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.