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Health Benefits Of A Cupping Treatment

Acupuncture may be the most well-known of Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments, but another form of treatment called cupping also provides many health benefits. Cupping has gotten some mainstream press because of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston showing off their cupping marks at red carpet events. This has caused a bit of a media whirlwind, as they tried to figure out what the mysterious markings on the celebrities' backs were. These markings are actually the result of cupping, and they are only temporary and will disappear after a short period of time. However, the health benefits have proved to be effective. Traditional Chinese Medicine revolves around the concept of balancing a person's energy, known as qi, and cupping is another method besides acupuncture used to help balance a person's energy.


What Is Cupping?

Cupping refers to a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine where suction is placed on the skin using cups. Usually the suction is created with heat, but also can be created with pumps. The treatment generally lasts for around five to fifteen minutes, where the suction cup is placed on the person's skin. This is an extremely ancient form of treatment, which is believed to go all the way back to 3000 B.C. and have been used in China and other ancient European civilizations. It was even mentioned in an essay by the famous writer George Orwell, writer of Animal Farm, where he wrote about being surprised to see the practice in a Parisian hospital. Cupping has been practiced for thousands of years and is promoted as being able to improve stagnant blood flow with the stimulation provided by the cupping. Despite the dark marks that cupping leaves at times, they are only temporary and will disappear afterwards within a couple days. The most common areas that cupping occurs are the back, neck, and shoulder.


Benefits Of Cupping

Cupping is considered to be able to improve a person's emotional and physical health with improved energy and feelings of refreshment. Cupping is believed to open up a person's pores, which helps increase the flow of blood. And more specifically, cupping is used to help people treat:


  • » Blood disorders
  • » Eczema
  • » Bronchitis
  • » Arthritis
  • » Common cold
  • » Cancer

Because it's a holistic form of treatment, it has been considered a safe alternative of treatment for cancer and has little side effects besides the temporary bruising.


Different Types Of Cupping

There are also different types of cupping, perhaps due to the practice being so far widespread, variations eventually sprouted up. There is dry cupping, which involves air pressure being used to create the suction. And the cup is moved across the body slowly, and this type of treatment is considered painless. There is also fire cupping, which involves using a flaming cotton ball on the cup and then placing the heated cup on the skin. Another form of cupping is called wet cupping and involves a suction cup being placed on a person's body. When the cup is removed then a small skin incision is made to let out a small amount of blood. This type of cupping is generally more widespread in Muslim countries and Finland as an alternative form of treatment.


If a person is interested in trying cupping, it should be emphasized that they can ease their way into treatments. They can meet with an experienced Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and decide which treatment is best for them. People who have undergone cupping treatments commonly say that they feel refreshed and re-energized after the treatments. One of cupping's main goals is to release the body of toxins so that the body can once again regain its maximum health.