What Is Cupping And How Does It Work?
So on my birthday, my mom treated me to a massage!! Before my treatment, the therapist asked if I wanted to add hot stones and cupping. Stones? Yes Cupping? I wasn’t sure, until she shared a long list of cupping benefits with me. S0… I went with a big fat “yes please”. Why not, right?
I will share the top eleven shocking benefits to cupping below. But first, here is the scoop on cupping.
So what is cupping?
Do you recall Michael Phelps’ giant purple circles on his shoulders as he glided through the water in the 2016 Olympics? I sure do.
Those circular bruises are from an ancient Chinese therapy called cupping. Cupping therapy removes stagnation in our bodies and stimulates the flow of qi (chi).
Qi is the free flow of vital energy circulating through the body and the world. If the qi is disrupted or disturbed, it can create stagnation (blockages) or imbalances in the body. The darker the suctioned circle, the more blockage.
How Does Cupping Work?
Here’s how it works: A professional places a cup onto the surface of the skin to create a vacuum effect. “This sucks the skin and fat layer off the muscle, and sometimes even moves muscle layers off each other,” explains Houman Danesh, MD, director of integrative pain management at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “
Many times the cups are left in place and other occasions they are pushed along muscle fibers to help relax tight muscles. If left on the skin, it only left for a few minutes.
There are different methods: There are different ways to do cupping, called either wet or dry (like that cappuccino from Starbucks). If you decide to do wet cupping, it will be a milder suction.
The Eleven Benefits of Cupping
That May Shock You
1. Helps Heal And Reduces Pain
One of the most popular reasons people turn to alternative treatment methods is because they’re seeking for a reliable way to reduce joint pain and muscle soreness.
I understand cupping to release tissues deep inside the body, relax tense muscles and ease stiffness associated with chronic back and neck pains, migraines, rheumatism, and fatigue. Some athletes have been noted to use cupping therapy to improve performance and reduce stiffness, muscle cramps, joint pains and scar tissue caused by injuries.
I can tell you by experience that cupping is relaxing. It feels good, when the cups are removed.
Cupping is recognized to allow people to enter a more relaxed state since it sedates the central nervous system. This is like acupuncture, which you might assume hurts and is awkward but seems to help lower most patients’ stress.
3. Relieves Anxiety And Depression
Cupping therapy works to ease the symptoms of depression by providing overall relaxation to the body and mind.
4. Boosts Healthy Skin
There is many high-tech skincare treatments. You will be happy to learn that cupping reduces cellulite, acne, skin inflammation and more. It makes sense when you think about it. It brings blood to the surface thus helps tone the skin as it improves blood flow and expands capillaries.
As part of a skin-clearing or cellulite treatment, oil is commonly first applied to the skin before the cups are suctioned and moved around, bringing heat to the area along with various skin-healing ingredients depending on the type of oil used.
Increases oxygen-rich blood circulation
Strengthens skin and connective tissues
Stimulates cells collagen production
Relaxes muscle tension
Minimizes the appearance of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles
5. Improves Your Immunity
Cupping improves immune functioning your body by moving blood and lymphatic fluid, which is why it’s been associated with reductions in lung diseases (especially chronic coughs), allergies, infections and asthma. Maybe even Covid?
6. Heals Digestive Issues
Since ancient times, cupping therapy has been proven to heal tummy pains, diarrhea, acute gastritis, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal diseases and water retention. For digestive disturbances, cupping is commonly performed in the following areas: around the navel, over the bladder, around the kidneys or over the stomach.
7. Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Hand pain is common. If you feel numbness or pain in your hands, the suction of the cups could help relieve the discomfort. After the treatment, your hands should feel relieved of pain and weakness.
8. Increases Energy
Cupping detoxes the body and provides negative energy elements that get the body moving as your body reacts to the treatment.
9. Detoxifies The Body
Cupping gives your body a boost in releasing those toxins. Focused blood flow helps your body by flushing built-up toxins through the lymphatic system. (Your lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating your body’s toxins and waste.
10. Treats Blood Disorders
11. Increases Fertility
Together with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cupping therapy can assist couples who are trying to conceive.
Cupping treatment has been known to stimulate ovaries and egg production by regulating the female hormonal system. This includes stimulating the formation of follicles, increasing blood flow which thickens the uterine lining. Pretty cool huh?
I wish I would known this info when I was undergoing fertility treatments for years!
if you’re curious to try traditional cupping, it’s important to seek a trained (and certified) professional, such as a physical therapist, acupuncturist, or chiropractor.
Do not consider cupping if you’re on blood thinners, have trouble with bleeding or clotting, or you have an open wound.
If you try cupping or if you have a cupping story, please share it with me.