Many massage therapists and other alternative health practitioners are including this cupping treatment as part of their practice. It makes sense because cupping is in a way the inverse of massage. Instead of applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull upward the skin, tissue and muscles. This cupping therapy was developed thousands of years ago. During the years, the techniques were modified but the original philosophy is still the same.
If you’ve been watching the greatest sport “show” – Rio Olympics, maybe you have noticed that some of the great athletes have a number of odd purple bruises on their bodies.
Some people were actually concerned that they had gotten involved in some sort of strange self-abuse. But the round bruises are actually a result of a healing technique known as cupping.
Cupping involves 3 steps:
- heating up small glass cups
- then putting them onto the skin, and
- pulling them away from the body to help relax muscles.
It seems to be working excellent.
Health benefits of cupping therapy
1. Soothing Pain
One of the main reasons people are use cupping is the pain relief. Compared to traditional treatments, cupping offers very positive effects to relieve cancer pain. Cupping actually targets soft tissue with pressure applied to areas of swelling and pain points. This helps increasing blood flow and gives the tissues oxygen and important nutrients.
It releases tissues deep within our body, ease stiffness that’s often associated with back and neck pain, rheumatism and migraines. It also relaxes tense muscles. Therapists use pressure along with suctioning and heat, near the site of a certain injury. This allows energy to flow along the channels, which pass through the injury.
2. Relieve cold, allergy symptoms and cough
Cupping helps a lot in process of stimulating the lungs and other vital organs to help clear out phlegm. Excess phlegm in the lungs triggers coughing to help bring it out of the body. The practice of this therapy can help speed the process of relieving nasty cold, allergy symptoms and cough. It also boosts immunity by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body.
3. Promotes relaxation
In today’s chaotic and rapid world, all of us can and SHOULD use a little time for relaxation. If we don’t take time to relax, the permanent stress can lead to a host of health conditions, including mental issues like depression and anxiety. Deep tissue massage can offer wonderful, relaxing relief. Cupping helps to lift the pressure from tense muscles.
The act of simply lying still and calm and allowing a practitioner to apply the therapy has great effects on well-being, and believed to be another factor in why cupping is often so effective. After the practitioner place the cups on the skin and suctioned, they generally remain for about 20 minutes. They basically force us to be still and silent, putting us into a more relaxed state as it sedates the central nervous system.
Having toxins inside of the body’s tissues can be result of poor circulation. Cupping improves stagnation, while the blood that “goes” to the area carries away toxins. It also helps to clear dead cells or other debris. All of these elements are naturally expelled. That’s why after cupping session drinking lots of water is a very good idea for flushing away all those impurities and promoting better health.
5. Induces inflammation
Inflammation is part of the body’s defense mechanism, which helps kick things into action to help heal injury and illness. If you suffer from a muscular injury, the first thing you probably do is rush to get an ice pack, but when it’s allowed to become inflamed, that actually helps to flood the injured muscle with blood, along with nutrients, platelets, white blood cells and fibroblasts to aid in healing.
Cupping therapy works much the same way by drawing blood to the affected area so that new blood vessels can be created. It helps to heal knots and adhesions, which is why so many athletes have been turning to this therapy. It helps their body to recover faster from intense workout sessions.
6. Improve skin conditions
Cupping can help with a host of skin conditions, including eliminating eczema and acne, lessening herpes breakouts, reducing skin inflammation and even diminishing cellulite. In the case of eczema, suction is applied on points on the body, such as the top end of the spinal cord, below the knee, or above the ankle. It’s used to treat acne by cupping the affected area and even nicking the skin in order to remove the breakout.
As part of a cellulite treatment, the cupping phase comes after you apply oil to the skin. The cups are then suctioned and moved around to bring heat to the area, along with the skin-healing ingredients of the particular oil that’s used.
Cupping therapy gives results when the positive energy that flows through the meridians of the body is blocked. Removing that congestion than induces the body to heal itself. With this cupping therapy the blood is drawn to the affected area, thus energizing the skin tissue. That blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen, while antibodies are produces from the lymphatic system. This also works as detoxifier and removes pathogens that can cause skin conditions.
7. Relieves digestive problems
Cupping is also becoming a popular practice for relieving symptoms of digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. People believe to work partly because of the stress-relieving effects of cupping, which has been strongly linked to healthier digestion.
Tension, stress and anxiety are all connected to organs throughout the body, including digestive processes. When that happens, things start to get congested, and as a result, you feel constipated and bloated.
This cupping therapy technique helps to get things moving along, and relaxes you immediately.
The cupping therapy is very effective for water retention, diarrhea, gastritis, stomach cramps, loss of appetite and a host of gastrointestinal diseases.
Cupping can actually offer anti-aging effects like fighting wrinkles. It brings more nutrients to the skin, which helps give it a younger appearance. In addition, products that we use after the treatment, such as essential oils or oils, are absorbed better, and more effective.
The lifting motion that comes with suctioning helps to reduce visible fine lines and wrinkles. It can even lessen the appearance of scars that are the result of injury or acne. There is a stimulation of connecting tissues underneath facial skin, helping to reduce smile and laugh lines, and, if you’re suffering from puffiness, it can help drain fluid in the lymph glands that result in reduced edema.
The massaging movements alone can help relax tense facial muscles, which results in younger, and even softer looking skin. Whether your skin is dry or oily, cupping can offer these outstanding aesthetic benefits. And, it’s all natural – no knives or lasers necessary.
9. Treating carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful, progressive condition that can interfere with hand strength and sensation, and even result in a decrease in hand function. It affects 4 – 10 million Americans, with females 3 times more likely to suffer from it than males.
The condition disables a key nerve which results in symptoms that can range from mild numbness felt occasionally to hand weakness or even the loss of feeling and total loss of hand function.
The good news is that you may be able to find relief through cupping. A study out of Germany showed that the technique was effective for providing temporary relief of pain from carpal tunnel syndrome. Just a single session was able to significantly ease pain and symptoms for a week, according to the researchers.
The study authors noted 3 possible explanations for the positive therapeutic effects, including that the therapy may be providing a powerful placebo effect. Cupping may offer antinociceptive effects, or the local bloodletting caused by cupping may have altered tissue perfusion and metabolism to affect medial nerve function.