What is Cupping?
Cupping may be trendy now, but it is one of the oldest medical techniques in the world. It is a form of alternative therapy where special cups are placed on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. The traditional method of cupping involves lighting a flammable substance like alcohol or herbs on fire inside the cup for a brief moment and setting the cup on your skin, creating a vacuum.
How does it work?
The modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create a vacuum inside the cup. The vacuum causes your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand. The pressure the cups create draws blood to the affected area, increasing your overall blood flow. This increased blood flow is correlated with acupuncture points that help to relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.
What is it used for?
Cupping is often used as a complementary therapy along with acupuncture. Cupping is generally used to treat chronic back pain, headaches, and inflammation. For many people, physical pain comes from constantly tensing their muscles during everyday activities such as sitting in front of a computer. This muscle tension results in pain which cupping can help reduce.
Cupping can also help with stress when paired with acupuncture. Physical pain is often the physical manifestation of chronic stress. As cupping helps to relieve the physical tension in one’s body, acupuncture helps the mental side of stress. Using a combination of acupuncture and cupping is ideal for long-lasting relief.