Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the theory that the body remains healthy as long as “qi” or “chi” also known as the energy flows in the body stay constant and uninterrupted. Injuries and illnesses can result in energy and blood circulation stagnating. If the blood is unable to circulate properly, impurities begin to build up inside the body. Impurities can include pathogenic elements, toxins, dead and dying blood cells and lymph, in addition to broken down and worn out cell debris. This buildup can in turn cause other illnesses in the body. To induce the body to heal itself, these impurities need to be removed. In other words, the body needs to detoxify.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of eastern method inwhicha therapist placesspecial cups that create suction over an ashi (painful area) point or an acupuncture point along an energy meridian. The cups are left in place anywhere from five to 20 minutes depending on the nature of the individual's condition. A general course of treatment involves four to six sessions in intervals starting from three- to 10-day gaps.People get it done for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, detoxification, relaxation,overall well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Cupping might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
What are potential side effects of cupping?
Cupping frequently causes marks on the skin. This is due to bringing blood to the surface, similar to a bruise. For patients with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or who are being treated with anticoagulants, cupping may not be the best treatment option. People with these conditions should discuss the pros and cons of treatment with their acupuncturist or doctor before receiving cupping. Cupping should not be performed on skin sites with active inflammation, burns, infection, or open wounds. Some discomfort can occur but should not be considered a side effect. Moderate, temporary discomfort is expected as stagnation is removed and connective tissue and muscles are loosened.
Practitioners (especially traditional Western health-care providers) need to be aware of cupping as a treatment modality. In children, the bruising and discolorations post-cupping can be mistaken as a sign of child abuse.
How long do cupping bruises last?
The bruises for cupping can last for a few days up to two weeks. It is expected that over several weeks of repeated cupping treatments the bruising will decrease as the stagnation resolves. This indicates a successful result of a cupping treatment protocol.