Cupping has been a buzz word thrown around on a daily basis since the Rio Olympics started. Cupping means get some well-deserved notoriety. In fact, cupping therapy has been around since about 1000 B.C. and has been a popular Chinese Medicine practice.
It is an alternative therapy, akin to acupuncture, that offers some great health benefits without the harmful side effects mainstream medicine and pharmaceuticals pose to your body.
What is Cupping?
A therapy in which heated cups are applied to the skin creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy. Most commonly used cups are those made of glass and bamboo and they are usually applied along the meridian of the body.
This simple process provides the body with numerous health benefits. The therapist uses a substance, most of them use various different herbs in order to set on fire and place in the cup. When the flame goes out, the therapist places the cup upside down on the skin which creates a vacuum inside the cup thus slowly pulls the skin upward the cup. Once the skin has fully risen in the cup, the therapist will leave the cup in place for about three minutes.
What Does Cupping Actually Do?
As we previously mentioned, cupping creates a vacuum and pulls your skin upwards which causes your skin to redden and expand your body cells. This method can be used to treat various conditions because the expanded blood cells help stimulate blood flow to help with recovery.
Benefits of Cupping
The British Cupping Society lists several common conditions they use cupping for:
- Anemia and hemophilia
- Varicose veins
- Muscles aches and cramps
- Acne and eczema
- Migraines and headaches
- High blood pressure
- Sore muscles
Below are the five main reasons people use cupping:
The most common use for cupping is pain and the athletes made it popular. The most appealing benefit to athletes is reducing muscle pain and fatigue by stimulating blood flow and decreasing recovery time. For instance, Michael Phelps an athlete that competese in multiple Olympic event will want to decrease the amount of time it takes his body to regain energy and be fully ready to go by the time the next event starts.
Beside being effective for athletes, this method can also be used to lower joind and back pain. Cupping acts almost like a deep tissue massage and relaxes muscles associated with joint pain. Cupping targets soft tissue by applying pressure to specific pain points and areas of swelling. Once the blood vessels expand, the tissue recieves extra nutrients and oxygen created from the expanded blood vessels.
This method is actually a relaxing event, similar to massage, where you are laying in a calm, relaxing event. As we previously mentioned, the cups target muscles and acts as a deep tissue massage, releasing the tension from the deepest parts of your body. Moreover, it can help to lower stress responses, which in turn can lower an individual’s anxiety and help fight depression.
Due to the fact that cupping has a relazation benefit, it can help with your digestive health. Stress on your body is one of the most common symptoms of an unhealthy digestive system. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also associated with stress, so cupping has been used for stomach pains, diarrhea, gastritis and other common digestive issues. Flowing the energy to help release tension in and around the digestive tract, while aiding the abdomen with added nutrients and oxygen can help stimulate a healthier digestive tract.
Cupping can also be used for certain skin issues such as acne, skin inflammation and even herpes. By cupping, your capillaties are expanded and the addition flow of blood helps tone your skin and clear unwanted toxins which helps get rid of acne. Another way of removing acne is by wet cupping, where a small cut is made before the cup is applied and it can reduce acne better because with the incision the therapy can extract more of the toxins from your body.
Cellulite and varicose veins are another reason to use cupping method. An increased flow of blood throughout the skin will help tone and tighten the skin. Also, cupping stimulates and improves the flow of blood, helping reduce varicose veins.
We already mentioned that cupping helps move fluid throughout the body which is why it increasis the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Both of these help your body protect itself from illnesses and toxins. Moreover, cuppin g can help extract and remo phlegm and congestion from your body.
The main purpose of cupping is to help relieve pain, enhance circulation and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues. This medhod, just like acupuncture, can be very effective and most importantly it is a natural way that can help in the treatment of several conditions and help improve your body’s overall health and function.