What is Cupping?
Cupping is a traditional therapy used in China, and cultures from many other countries, involving the placement of cups (with suction) onto the body. Most commonly they will be placed on the back but they can also be placed on other parts of the body. Usually, suction is created through the skilled use of a flame which creates a vacuum in the cup without making the cup hot to touch so that it is not hot on the skin.
There are many techniques that a trained acupuncturist may perform with a suction cup. Cups may be used with massage, they may be removed as quickly as they were placed onto the body, or they may be left in place for up to ten minutes.
Cups may leave marks on the skin but these are not bruises. You may have seen photos of some famous bodies such as Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer) and Gwyneth Paltrow (actress) exhibiting some round, dark coloured cupping marks. Cupping draws stagnant blood towards the surface of the skin. Cupping marks usually fade within a week.
What is cupping used for?
Traditionally, cupping is used to resolve blood stasis which may be likened to strong musculoskeletal pain. The therapy has other traditional uses also which your practitioner may discuss with you.
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