Cupping is very popular form of therapy these days, it is used by celebrities as well as Olympic team members. For so many people this is a "new" cool technique developed for fast pain relief.
Lets' start from the beginning to understand this medical modality better:
1) This is not a new technique. It is as old as acupuncture (about 3500 years) and it is a part of acupuncture – Chinese Medicine practice it since forever. Thereafter Licensed Acupuncturist are trained to preform safe and effective cupping therapy.
2) It is safe, fast and effective pain relief technique because it is improving circulation in the local (anatomical) affected area as well as improving circulation of qi (energy) through acupuncture meridians. Once your energy / blood flow is restored to normal, all cause of pain is resolved and as a consequence symptoms disappear.
3) There are two main types of cupping;
Dry cupping where cups are strategically placed on acupuncture points and left there for about 10 minutes.
Wet cupping is when you place a cup on an acupuncture point for about 10 minutes, then with a sterile needle you prick the skin and place a cup on the same place again for about 10 minutes. With this technique it is believed that we are removing toxins as a metabolic waste to improve blood and qi flow.
Beside these two main techniques there are others as well. As an acupuncturist I often use:
Needle cupping where I place acupuncture needle on the specific acupuncture point (as you know each acupuncture point has its own therapeutic effect and they are chosen carefully based on an individual needs of the client). Over the needle I place cup for faster and better therapeutic effects
Sliding cupping is where we apply oil on the skin and place one or two cups on it. Instead of leaving cups in place, we slide them in a specific direction (usually following meridian pathways) to restore circulation and remove stagnation that is the cause of the symptoms.
Why would you like to use cupping as a therapeutic or preventive technique?
First it will improve circulation and reduce infection and that is always good. Healthy circulation and absence of inflammation will prevent pain and stiffness as well as support good energy levels and vitality
Second it will help you eliminate metabolic waste (toxins) and prevent developing symptoms.
Third for a cosmetic purpose it will increase collagen production and keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Ask your Acupuncturist for cupping as a therapeutic option if you have;
Pain (acute or chronic)
Low energy levels (tired)
If you are athletes or at least exercising for a long period of time
If you would like to look young and healthy
If you would like to prevent stagnation (stiffness and pain)
I hope that I give you good short intro in cupping therapy and I would like to remind you to always choose a licensed professional for these techniques. Licensed acupuncturists are trained to safely preform this technique as opposed to many others "professionals" claiming the knowledge of cupping without actual knowledge. Just ask yourself: Would you go to your favorite dentist for anxiety or heart palpitations?