Cupping therapy has actually been around for thousands of years. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians used it, Hippocrates recommended it, Native North Americans used it, and illustrations from Medieval Europe show cupping. It’s a therapy that was widely used around the world until the late 19th century.
Many Asian countries, along with Germany, Greece, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Brazil never stopped. In European countries where it’s still practiced, it’s often used in hospitals to help patients recover from their surgery.
What are those purple spots on her back?
As more and more celebrities and athletes are photographed with those distinctive purple spots, cupping therapy has become the “new” fashionable treatment.
Most people try cupping initially for pain relief. Then, they are often surprised to find out that cupping is also great for a whole lot of other things.
What cupping treats
- Back and neck pain
- Muscular aches and pains
- Tennis and Golfers elbow
- Sports injuries
- Coughs, colds and allergy symptoms
- Digestive disorders
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other RSI’s
- Blocked sinuses
But wait – there’s more!
- Cellulite and acne
- Stress and anxiety
What cupping is
Cupping is like the inverse of massage. Rather than pushing into your body, suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. This increases blood flow to the area being treated, which nourishes and brings oxygen to the tissues, helping your healing process by removing congestion and pain. It stimulates lymph flow, which helps to remove toxins from your body. It helps to “separate” the layers underneath, allowing everything to go back into its rightful place. It’s deeply relaxing and feels wonderful – although it often feels a bit strange at first!
Energetically, it’s also wonderful for clearing “stuff”!
I use cupping a lot!
How is cupping done?
Cups are often made of glass, but can be made of bamboo, clay, silicone, rubber – anything you can make a seal with.
I mostly use glass because I can see what’s happening inside. Also, they feel lovely and warm. I also use silicone cups to better treat bony or bumpy bits (elbows, knees, feet, etc) because they are flexible. I also have some cups with a suction balloon or pump to manually such out the air.
For glass cups, cotton wool is wrapped around forceps then dipped into methylated spirits then lit with a flame. The flame is dipped into the cup and quickly withdrawn. The cup is quickly placed on your bare skin. The cooling heat in the cup causes the suction on the skin.
Usually I will have applied oil to your skin first and then will move the cups around on your body – most often your back, shoulders and neck. Sometimes, if I find a very “tight” spot or a big “knot”, I’ll leave the cup in one place for a few minutes. (That’s when you get the purple spots, if you’re going to get them! Not everyone does.) The purple spots are completely normal and usually disappear in a few days.
Cupping therapy is usually very safe and has no adverse side effects. However, if any of the following apply to you, I might advise against you trying it.
- Open wounds, sunburn or dermatological conditions
- Very recent trauma and inflammation
- High fever
- Taking anti-coagulants (blood thinning medication)
- Bleeding disorder
- Very thin skin that tears
If you’re pregnant, I’m unlikely to apply cups to your belly!
Do you remember Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid? I feel like him when I do cupping therapy!
It’s such a dramatic looking and fun therapy. Added bonus – it’s so very effective. Like magic sometimes!
So, what are you waiting for? Come and see me now to try it out!