Cupping therapy

Cupping Therapy Sydney

The Chinese are famous for having a wide range of alternative therapies, for alleviating pains and comforting the body. Cupping therapy is also a part of traditional Chinese medical methods, used to increase blood flow and for back muscle relaxation. In case you are looking for new ways of comforting your body and strengthening your health, you might find cupping therapy interesting. It will give you the feeling of a deep tissue massage, but can also have a larger number of benefits than just with a massage. So keep reading because you are about to find out what cupping therapy is and what it can do for you.

Bamboo Cupping

Bamboo Cupping

Cupping is probably one of the oldest therapies that still exist in the modern world. There is proof that the Egyptians may have been the first civilization to use cupping, which made scientists believe this practice emerged somewhere around 3000 BC. In China, archaeological evidence pointed out that cupping dates back to 1000 BC. Even the Greeks used it, around 400 BC, for curing a broad spectrum of internal diseases and physical issues. Due to its multiple purposes, this alternative medicine ended up spreading across Asia and Europe. The most recent records show that cupping was promoted by a Turkish surgeon, in the year 1465. So the fact that this technique survived for so many millennia shows that not only it was highly appreciated, but it also paid results.

As the name suggests, cupping uses cups as tools to unroll the medical technique. The cups are made out of various materials. Glass, bamboo and earthenware are the most common, but plastic and rubber cups may also be used. The material of the cups depends on the type of therapy that is performed. There is dry cupping, fire cupping, and wet cupping, so not every type of cup is appropriate, being chosen according to the case. It is considered that dry cupping is used more for its relaxing and stress removing benefits, while wet cupping is used mainly for curative purposes.

In the case of dry cupping, the tools may vary a lot. Still, the main principle of the therapy is to create a subtle air pressure near the skin’s surface. The methods of creating the pressure and how the entire therapy unrolls are not the same in all situations. Back in ancient times, the cups were made out of horn, bronze, pottery or bamboo. They might still be used in some areas, but glass and plastic are more common these days. Also, the dimension of the cups are not the same; different sizes are used for cupping therapy. Fire is used to create the air pressure above the skin and placed on the desired area. As the air inside the cup will reach a lower temperature, a suction effect is created. Rubber cups are a more recent addition to this therapy, as they have a valve that releases the air inside them by squeezing, not needing to heat the cup any more. The therapist can apply one cup, or multiple cups if he wishes to cover a wider skin surface. Usually, they are placed on soft tissue areas, where the created suction can have an effect on the skin.

Fire cupping uses the same functioning principles, although a flaming cotton ball is used for heating the air in the cup. The cotton ball is soaked in alcohol, set on fire and handled with forceps. The flaming cotton ball is introduced shortly inside the cup for a few seconds, placing the cup on the skin immediately after. Because of the lack of oxygen inside the cup, a suction action will be triggered. Oil placed on the black will allow the cups to slide over the skin’s surface. Red skin patches _DSC8096or bruises may appear following the treatment however cupping therapy is not painful at all.

cupp

Cupping therapy, as mentioned earlier, is used for relaxation or as an alternative method for treating various illnesses. It is also used in combination with other therapies as well, such as acupuncture or different types of medication. The therapy is mainly used to relax muscles and help with back and neck pains. According to the Chinese theory, this therapy has much wider applications for achieving health benefits. Through the power of suction, the flow of blood and lymph is improved, avoiding their stagnation which will also improve the flow of the qi; the inner energy of the body. Thus, cupping therapy is used for treating cold, flu and even illnesses of the respiratory system, like bronchitis and pneumonia. It can even ease up symptoms produced by musculoskeletal issues if the cups are applied on the neck, shoulder and back.

But the healing actions will not stop here. Because cupping improves blood flow, it has been shown to work very well in the case of blood disorders, like haemophilia and anaemia. It reduces joint pains caused by rheumatic illnesses and it is also believed that cupping can assist people suffering from infertility or gynaecological matters. The therapy can regulate blood pressure, reduce migraines, varicose veins and help improve the mental state, fighting against depression and anxiety. So it can be successfully applied in a wide variety of conditions because it mainly promotes a general state of well-being.

glass cuppingIn case you are wondering if there are any side-effects or contraindications of this therapy, you should know that there might be several effects that can appear after the therapy has been performed. There are also cases in which cupping therapy is not recommended. As side-effects, some people may experience bruises and burns and for particularly sensitive people, it may also trigger a mild discomfort. The worst side-effect can be a skin infection, which may happen if the cupping is not performed correctly or if the patient is more sensitive. There are also several situations in which cupping is not recommended. For instance, pregnant or menstruating women should not seek this therapy and people suffering with metastatic cancer, muscle spasm or bone fractures, should also avoid it. The suction pressure and blood flow enhancement will not bring benefits in these cases. Also, in the case of severe illnesses, like cancer, the treatment should not rely entirely on cupping. A person suffering from such a difficult disease should follow the treatment recommended by his doctor, using cupping only as a supportive therapy, which may speed up the treatment process.

Also, in the case of health conditions that are visible at the skin’s surface, cupping may not be the best choice. For instance, if a person is suffering from deep vein thrombosis, skin ulcer, has a visible artery, or a pulse that can be felt and seen, cupping should not be performed. Again, the pressure produced at the skin’s surface may do more harm in these cases than to help that particular person. So doing some research about cupping and what the therapy involves is recommended. It can be a great alternative treatment, but it is not compatible with all health conditions.

DISCLAIMER

The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email info@roddsanchez.com.au or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney Cupping therapy 

cupping massage - a young woman

Cupping-glassA Chinese medicine cupping of the young lady_DSC8096