Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a knowledgeable therapists places special cups on your skin to create suction over the course of a few minutes. This treatment is done to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, and as a type of deep-tissue massage. Although cupping therapy may seem as a new therapy, it is not new. Cupping dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
There are many ways to complete this treatment. Older cupping treatment involved your therapist putting a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper into the desired cup and lighting it on fire. As the fire goes out, the therapist will put the cup upside down on your skin and the suction commences. As the air inside the cup cools off, it creates a vacuum effect. This effect causes your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand substantially. The suction effect generally holds for up to 3 minutes.
Modern Cupping Therapy
Many therapists and athletes use the cupping therapy to ease muscle tension, release knots and improve proper blood circulation to the desired areas. Some compare cupping to the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to the muscle, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward.
A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump instead of fire to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes therapists use silicone cups, which they can move from place to place on your skin during your session for a massage-like effect.
Cupping can provide relief for many specific health conditions. The treatment can help;
Remove toxins from the body and stimulate the flow of fresh blood
It often works wonders for patients with the flu, colds, coughs
It helps with back and muscle pain and tightness
It promotes better blood circulation
It helps lower anxiety levels
Who cannot do cupping?
Cupping is not be used on patients who bleed easily and/or cannot stop bleeding, have skin ulcers, or edema. It is unwise to cup over large blood vessels as well. Pregnant women should be cupped with extreme caution and never on their abdomen or lower back, although it is preferred that they do not proceed with this therapeutic treatment.