Cupping and detoxification

Okay – we admit this could be better named but the Chinese definitions are often literal.  Also we could go into the complicated Chinese Medicine’s explanation of how it works but are opting for something more simple.

The western concept of detoxification is one of the most important functions of cupping therapy. But how does cupping therapy help for detoxification? The suction effect of cupping increases the blood circulation and lymphatic flow. This enhanced blood flow aids your body by flushing built-up toxins through the lymphatic system.  The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating your body’s toxins and waste, along with reducing the retention of body fluids

What are the benefits of Cupping Therapy

As a result of detoxification, cupping helps ease muscle pains, diminishes the swelling in tissues, speeds up metabolism, and strengthens the immune system. Recent researches also show that cupping therapy helps to:

  • Reduce musculoskeletal pain: lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and fibromyalgia
  • Induce comfort: muscle relaxation and reduce anxiety
  • Alleviate digestive problems: Bloating, gastric reflux and constipation conditions
  • Good for improving recovery: Cough, asthma and common cold
  • Good for skin issues: Eczema, urticaria, allergic dermatitis

Cupping colours

Cupping causes a “hickey” and the colour of this has a meaning in Chinese Medicine. This where things are a little more complicated.  Knowing the meaning of various colours caused by cupping is important in understanding one’s energy state. Many will agree that the red or purplish “giant hickeys” are the most fascinating yet puzzling thing about cupping. If you look closer, you may find that some marks are darker than the others and different areas may have different colours. In traditional Chinese medicine, red cupping marks signify severe heat. Bluish cupping marks indicate cold or dampness, dark purple means stagnation.

The darker colour, the more the exuberance of the pathogenic Qi (vital energy). When clients first have cupping therapy their cupping marks may be quite dark. The marks get lighter after each session as the qi and blood flow are unblocked by the therapy.  As different acu-points are connected to different organs, and different areas of the tongue indicate likewise, colours on different areas of the back correspond to different organ groups.

Fixed, sliding, and wet cupping

Fixed cupping: A small cotton fire is soaked in alcohol then lit and inserted into the cup for a couple of seconds. This is then quickly removed and the cup placed onto your body. You will feel a suction around the cupped area. The cups are usually left on the body for about ten minutes.

Sliding cupping: Oil is applied onto the body and the cups are pushed gently along meridians for five, or so, minutes. This technique can cover all the acu-points along the meridians and is usually used on the back and thighs.

Wet cupping:  Small punctures are made in specific areas of the body, using a specialised lancet needling device, followed by fixed cupping at that point. This allows the stagnated blood to come out through the skin and be collected in the cups. This technique is similar to an Islamic bloodletting technique called Hijama. In TCM, however, we focus on acu-points along the meridians

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