Cupping therapy is an ancient form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that is very effective in the treatment of chronic and acute pain. Cupping involves creation of a local suction on the skin that mobilizes the flow of blood to promote healing, draw out toxins and manage the pain.
Cupping is done on specific acupuncture points and on other areas of the body affected by pain. The emphasis of the cupping treatment is mostly utilized on the back because it can be performed there with ease.
The main concept of Chinese cupping therapy is based on the meridian theory of Chinese medicine. Cupping eliminates body stagnation and unblocks meridians (channels or pathways where Qi flows) in order for the blood to flow freely in the body. Furthermore, this therapy also assists in rejuvenating specific organs and meridians that have ceased to function properly. From a scientific point of view, cupping therapy assists in activating the lymphatic system, promoting circulation of blood and repairing tissue damage.
Cupping Therapy Types and Methods
There are two types of Chinese cupping therapy which include:
- Fire Cupping
- Wet cupping – mixture of controlled medicinal bleeding and suction
- Dry cupping – only suction (This is the style we use in our clinic)
In Fire Cupping, flammable substance like paper, herbs or alcohol is put inside a cup and lit on fire. When the fire is out, the cup is placed bottom up on the back of the individual. Once the air in the cup is cooled down, it creates a vacuum which causes the skin to redden and rise with the expansion of vessels. The cup is placed on the skin for five to ten minutes. (We do not use fire cupping in our clinic)
In Wet Cupping, a cup is put on the skin for three minutes to create a mild suction. The cup is then removed, and superficial skin incision is made by using a small scalpel. Afterwards, another suction is created which draws out a certain quantity of blood. After the therapy is completed, antibiotic ointment is applied, and the area is covered with bandages so that infection can be prevented. The appearance of the skin returns to normal in ten days. (We do not use wet cupping in our clinic)
Another recent method of painless cupping therapy, called Dry Cupping, uses a rubber pump for creating vacuum in the cup. This is the method we use in our clinic. Medicinal grade silicone cups are also used for this therapy by some practitioners. These cups are flexible and can be moved from spot to spot on the body producing a massage-like effect.
Conditions treated with cupping…
There are several benefits of Chinese cupping therapy. This Dry Type used in our clinic has been used to treat the following:
- Pain conditions such as back, neck, shoulder pain
- Varicose veins
- Bronchial congestion from asthma and allergies
- Depression and anxiety
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Skin problems like acne and eczema
- Gynecological and fertility disorders
- Rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia and arthritis
- Blood disorders like hemophilia and anemia
The supporters of Chinese cupping therapy claim that this therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain from the body and also assists in the physical and mental well-being of an individual. In our clinic we usually utilize cupping as an adjunct to the acupuncture treatment. Together they produce a synergistic effect that produces great results for many conditions, especially pain. Cupping therapy, however, may also be used as a stand-alone treatment.
Contact us at 954-586-8088 to learn more about Cupping Therapy.