Spring Advanced Acupuncture
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How Cupping Therapy Works
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that cupping creates a vacuum on the patient’s skin which ensures that the blood flow does not stagnate in the area. The continuous flow of blood through the circulatory system ensures the flow of life force or Qi. By increasing the flow of Qi, cupping therapy is thought to be able to heal many usculoskeletal as well as respiratory diseases such as the common cold.
In recent times cupping healers have claimed to successfully cure Herpes Zoster, acne, facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, and bronchitis, to name a few ailments.
What Cupping Therapy Involves
The suction cups that give the treatment its name, were traditionally made of glass, bamboo, or earthen pottery. Now, the cups used in treatment are made of medicine grade silicone, which range in size from one to three inches in diameter.
The air within the cups is usually heated in order to create a vacuum. This is done by pouring a small amount of alcohol in and lighting it, or burning a piece of paper inside the cup instead. Some practitioners use a lit earbud to create the vacuum. Once the fire is extinguished the cups are quickly placed on the skin to create the suction effect.
The cups need to be placed on naked skin. They are most commonly placed on the back, the arms and legs, the shoulders, the forehead and even on the neck. The exact position and number of the cups is determined by the healer based on the ailment being treated.
The sensation on the skin is said to be a mild pinching effect followed by a feeling of warmth. People tend to find the time spent in a cupping session very relaxing.
A word on Cupping marks
The most common misunderstanding regarding one of the most powerful and beneficial after effects of Cupping, is the marks that sometimes result.
When injuries occur deep in the muscle, bleeding often occurs causing deep bruises. There will also be edema in the area involving the coagulation of sticky proteins. The combining presence of these elements usually results in stagnation of circulation to the area - resulting in pain, dysfunction, and chronic conditions.
The vacuum formed by Cupping draws up the old non-circulating stagnant blood and sticky fluids from the area, bringing them up to the surface and away from the injury so that healthy free circulation can be restored to the affected area, thus creating space for oxygen, living cells and nutrients for faster recovery.
Where there is dead, static blood, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors, and toxins present in the body, Cupping can leave marks which indicates that the stagnation or disease has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface.
In many countries - this is a non-issue, they've experienced themselves the amazing detoxifying effects suction therapy can provide. But in some industrialized countries, where Allopathic Medicine still over-shadows more holistic, natural approaches, these surface discolorations are misinterpreted as damage rather the result of debilitating agents being drawn to the surface. Westerners also live in an image conscience society that also has a heightened sensitivity to domestic abuse... so, without sufficient understanding, some people are unnerved upon seeing this important after effect.
Once people understand what these marks are, and feel the results - the concerns disappear.
The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, and range from a bright red to dark purple, usually lasting 3 days to a week - sometimes longer if the person is very sick or sedentary. If there is no stagnation present, there will be only a pink marking which disappears in a few minutes to a couple of hours.
If the person receiving treatment sweats alot on a daily basis - no marks may ever occur.
People who live/work/play in toxic environments (or were exposed to a heavy dose of toxic material) may consistently mark.
Sites where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple Cupping treatments to remove all stagnation. You will find in follow up treatments the marks will be progressively lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body.