Cupping originated thousands years ago in China, and is one of the oldest forms of manual therapy. The old Chinese medical maxim holds that pain results from stagnaton or blockage of vital energy (Qi). Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain. Chinese cupping is therefore a method of breaking up the blockage to restore the body's natural flow of energy.
By placing a glass or a plastic cup onto the skin, the therapist creates a vacuum in the cup which draws the skin, muscle, and the fascia up into the cup. The suction of the cups allows new blood to flow to sore areas in muscles, providing important nutrients to the area that promote healing and regeneration. It can also provide pain relief by exciting small nerves inside muscles so that they release pain-killing chemicals.
Once suctioned, the cups are left in place for about 10 minutes while the client relaxes. Contrary to the commonly-held impression, the suction of the cups does not hurt. In fact, most people find it a very relaxing and soothing experience.
The benefits of Cupping Therapy can be experienced with the following conditions:
- neck, shoulder and lower back pain
- stiff muscles
- anxiety and depression
- headaches and migraines
- rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
- sluggish/toxic lymph
- bronchitis and asthma
The side effects of Cupping are fairly mild. Bruising should be expected, but skin should return to looking normal within 10 days.