What is Cupping Therapy?
This is a lesser known oriental treatment, sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture, sometimes as a treatment in itself.
Cupping involves the application of localised suction to specific or problematic areas. There are several ways a therapist can create suction, but the way I do is the fairly modern method of using a pump to create a vacuum within a suction cup. Although I am trained in the the traditional methods, (which involves naked flames) I prefer the modern method as I find it cleaner and faster.
Once the suction has been applied, it gently pulls the skin and superficial muscle layers into the cup, a kind of inverse massage technique, so instead of downward pressure, the cupping creates an upward and outward effect. For most clients this is an intensely relaxing and releasing effect. For certain treatments, oil is applied before the cups, and then the cups are moved slowly across the skin.
Cupping is similar to acupuncture and Tui Na in that it uses the meridians if the body for maximum theraputic effect. This allows the Qi (which is what the Chinese call the life force or vital energy) to flow unimpeded throughout the body.
It can be helpful with back pain, neck pain, stiff muscles, anxiety, breathing difficulties, and even weight loss and cellulite.
Cupping can even be used with small cups on hands, feet or wrists to help with problems in those areas, or to invigorate circulation.