Most of us are more familiar with acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine. Yet as a lesser-known modality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), cupping therapy is also highly effective in dealing with many health conditions.
By applying a partial vacuum which is generated by heat or suction from a cup or cups, cupping therapy can relieve the local congestion. Those cups and small jars are applied to the skin and suck it away from our body. It was mainly used for fever, vertigo, menstrual imbalance, poor appetite, pain relief and other conditions back in ancient times.
Today, this brilliant and effective technique is still in wide use and has produced many remarkable results upon various health conditions. It is also deemed as a great alternative to medical care and surgery for some people. For its trackable and proved efficacy in the long history, further research and investigation are worth of being dedicated to this wonderful technique.
But how does this therapy really work? First, the operator will need to apply rubbing alcohol to the bottom of the cups and the light them on fire, later the flame is put out and the inside heat will cool down, which will bring a natural suction to the skin. When this suction lift the skin away from our body, negative pressure is created. As opposed to the positive pressure created by the massage, this negative pressure helps to promote healthy blood flow, loosen muscle tissues and calm our nervous system.
More often, cupping therapy is performed together with acupuncture, one of the reasons why they are used in combination is that both of them follow the natural meridian lines of our body. Those meridian lines are believed to be the pathways through which our body’s life energy or Qi flows. As it is traditionally used on the back, cupping therapy follows the five meridian lines on the back, with the purpose of aligning and relaxing the Qi and opening up all the channels through which energy flows.
As one of the most effective deep-tissue therapies, cupping is thought to affect tissues which are up to four inches deep from the external skin. During the process, we can eliminate the toxins, clear the blockages and refresh the veins and arteries within these four inches of the affected tissues. We can even perform the cupping therapy upon our hands, wrists, and ankles, so the specific organs that are related to these points can also receive the healing treatment.
There are various types of cupping therapy, along with many precautions needs to be taken care of while performing the cupping therapy. So please make sure that the therapist you are seeking cupping treatment from follows the relative precautions.