Traditional medicine, especially Chinese techniques, have brought us some of the most unique, interesting, and useful therapies in history. From them we have received acupuncture, acupressure, and a variety of massage therapy techniques.
One of these fascinating therapies is a massage therapy technique called cupping. Today we will explain what cupping is and discuss some of the benefits of cupping.
Cupping : What is it?
Cupping is said to have been used by many ancient societies including Egyptian, Chinese, and those of the Middle East.
Cupping is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine and it’s philosophies regarding energy therapy. According to these philosophies, the body contains energy meridians. These meridians can be likened to the circulatory system. Just as there are channels of veins and arteries running throughout the body, carrying the blood to and from the heart, so the energy meridians channel energy throughout the body.
Stagnation of energy can be just as detrimental to the body as stagnation of the blood or lymph. All are important to the health of all the organs and body systems. There are certain therapies and treatments which can be done to keep the blood and lymph flowing. For instance, massage therapy, exercise, and a healthy diet will keep blood flowing freely. Also, a technique called dry brushing, where a person uses a dry body brush to gently, yet vigorously, brush the skin each day can help keep lymph moving along.
To keep energy flowing freely, it is important to incorporate energy healing therapies to a holistic routine. Some of these treatments are acupuncture, acupressure, and cupping.
Cupping is a technique used by Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners and massage therapists which incorporates the use of heated glass cups or negative pressure (suction) in a massage session. The cups are applied to various areas along the meridians needing treatment. These cups create a suction effect which stimulates energy flow.
What to Expect During Your Cupping Session
To alleviate any nerves, which come from trying something for the first time, discuss with your massage therapist the technique and tools they use. One practitioner may follow a different routine than another. Some may do what is referred to as momentary cupping, a technique in which the cups are put on and off in rapid succession. With a technique called stationary cupping, the cup can remain in the same location for up to 15 minutes.
Many times, our therapist will glide cups along tense or atrophied tissue to begin to release any adhesions. This allows your therapist to work more deeply into the muscle fibers and restore proper mobility.
Your therapist may choose to use cupping alone, or they may use it in addition to other therapies, such as massage.
The Benefits of Cupping
The benefits of cupping are astonishing. As with other energy therapies good energy, lymph, and blood flow promotes overall good health and even treatment of disease.
The suction action of cupping raises the skin and the muscles. This allows blood to flow through freely where it hadn’t been before. The muscles and organs are, therefore, ensured to receive a healthful, oxygen-rich blood supply. This contributes to more energy, better function of the heart and circulatory system, and better organ function.
Cupping has also been shown to detach adhesions from the tissues and organs of the body. This is particularly of benefit to women who suffer from endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease in which the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, within the abdominal cavity. These growths attach to organs and can cause organs to bind to one another. Every time the woman moves a certain way, the adhesions pull on the organs they’re attached to causing an immense amount of pain. The suction of cupping can assist in the detachment of these adhesions, giving the women who suffer from this condition great relief.
When energy flows freely, pain is reduced. This is wonderful news for anyone suffering from chronic pain, including debilitating back pain. And, positive energy flow removes dangerous toxins from the body, too. When toxins begin to build up within the body disease follows. We live in a very toxic age – from pesticides in our soil to pollution in our air and water. Besides this, stress, anger, anxiety, guilt, and other negative emotions, if not dealt with properly and released, can build up and begin to manifest as physical disease.
These toxins need to be released, and cupping can aid in this endeavor. Through the suction of the glass cups, the stagnant blood, lymph, and energy are released and fresh, healthy ones are now free to flow unreservedly through the body. The detoxification and promotion of healthy life fluids and energy help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Healthy lymph reduces the chance of certain cancers. Oxygen flow is even increased, which is of great benefit to anyone suffering from lung diseases like asthma.
We are so thankful to the holistic practitioners of old for bringing us such wonderfully unique and beneficial therapies. They realized that one treatment does not fit all people, nor does one treatment fit all ailments and body types. Preferences vary; one person may enjoy the experience of an acupuncture treatment while another person may fear needles and stay away from beneficial energy therapy because of this fear. The point – there is a variety of energy therapies to fit each individual, their preferences, and their needs. Talk to your massage therapist today and find out if cupping may be a treatment which can benefit your personal needs.