What is cupping?
Cupping applies suction to the surface of the body to draw out pathogenic factors or to invigorate the flow of Qi at the surface of the body.
Cupping is usually done by inserting a flame into a small glass cup to remove the air and create a vacuum. Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5 to 10 minutes. Some practitioners will also apply small amounts of medicated oils or herbal oils to the skin just before the cupping procedure, which lets them move the cups up and down particular acupoints or meridians after they have been applied.
What does it treat?
Cupping is frequently used to treat early stage colds and flu, trauma, and muscle pain, especially in the back and shoulders. Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach (and, to a lesser extent, the arms and legs), are the preferred sites for treatment.
Is cupping safe? Does it hurt?
Cupping can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand. This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, however, and disappear within a few days of treatment.
In addition, there are several instances where cupping should not be performed. Patients with inflamed skin, cases of high fever or convulsions and bleed easily, are not suitable candidates for cupping. Pregnant women should not have cupping on their stomach or lower back. If the cups are being moved, they should not cross bony areas, such as the ridges of the spine or the shoulder blades.
Please contact us if you would like further information on Cupping therapy.
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