Your Guide To Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is an alternative health practice that uses rounded glass, ceramic, silicone or bamboo cups to create suction on the skin. Practitioners believe cupping promotes healing by improving circulation and increasing blood flow to areas of the body you're experiencing problems with, as the suction pulls blood into the cups. The therapy originated in China, but it's now a widely available treatment option at alternative health clinics across America. Here's what you need to know about cupping:
Two Types Of Cupping
There are two main types of cupping for you to choose from. Dry cupping uses suction only, and involves heating the inside of the cup before it is placed on your body. This reduces the oxygen in the cup, and when the cup is placed on your skin and the air inside the cup cools, the suction effect is created. Wet cupping follows the same process as dry cupping, but once blood is drawn into the cupped area, the practitioner removes the cups and makes small, light cuts on the skin where the cups were. The cups are then replaced to draw out small amounts of blood, which proponents of the treatment believe will draw out toxins from your body. With both types of cupping, the cups are only in place for a few minutes to prevent severe bruising occurring.
What To Expect During Treatment
When you arrive at your chosen alternative health practice for a cupping treatment, you will be asked to complete a form detailing any medical conditions you have or medication you take. There are some situations when cupping would not be considered appropriate, such as when taking blood thinning medication, so it's important your practitioner has a good understanding of your overall health before treatment begins. Depending on the area of your body being treated, you will need to partially undress and treatment will be carried out with you lying on a treatment table or chair. After your treatment the cupped areas may be red or slightly bruised for a few days, and you will be given an ointment to take home to soothe your skin and reduce redness. Depending on your reason for undergoing cupping, you may have a single treatment or a course of treatments over several weeks.
What Is Cupping Used For
Cupping is used to treat a range of complaints including muscle pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, bronchial congestion, migraines, eczema and fertility issues. Limited studies have been carried out on the effectiveness of cupping, but those who have undergone the treatment have reported positive results in relation to a number of conditions.
If you'd like to try cupping, find an experienced practitioner who's happy to answer any questions you have about the treatment, and check with your doctor beforehand if you have a medical condition.