What is Cupping?
Cupping therapy is an alternative to medical medicine that can be used to help heal the tissue. Cupping dates back thousands and thousands of years. Cupping therapy was used by the ancient Egyptians, Middle Eastern Cultures, and was even used in China and African countries for years. Cupping is considered an alternative medicine and has been combined with Aromatherapy, Massage, Reflexology, Gua-Sha, Acupuncture, etc. When you Google cupping there are two main types: dry and wet cupping. Wet cupping is when bloodletting is used to pull uric acid and other toxins from the body. Dry cupping is what I use at Flex Physical Therapy; this involves pulling stagnant blood to the epidermis layer. Cupping can be done with different materials such as: Glass, Bamboo, Plastic, Rubber, etc. The cups are placed on the skin to create a vacuum seal to pull the air out. The underlying tissue rises partially into the cup to enhance blood circulation and pull toxins from the muscle tissue.
Why Use Cupping?
Cupping can be used for various reasons. Some of the main reasons someone may choose cupping are: it helps release toxins, improve varicosities, loosens stagnation in the meridians, and it decreases inflammation and pain while stimulating the body. When using cupping therapy there are contraindications. Some of those are bleeding disorders, open wounds, convulsions, etc. When receiving cupping, the therapist should inform the client that it will leave circular marks on the body. The marks will last up to 2 to 4 days. The diagram on the left is what the therapist will look for while treating the client.
What To Expect When Getting a Cupping Massage
Here at Flex Physical Therapy the main type of cupping that I use is retaining cupping, which is when I leave the cup on the same spot for 5 to 10 minutes till the color stops changing. I also mix in gliding cupping, which is when you use lubricant to allow the cup to slide along the affected area smoothly. The cups that I use are pistol handle valve cups. Below is a picture of the set that I use in the office.
When using cupping I like to add in Gua-Sha to help with moving stagnant blood in the tissue just like cupping. Look for future blogs describing what Gua-Sha is. Call 712-256-1800 to schedule your cupping massage with Jamie.