During the Olympics, many athletes were seen with dark circular marks on their bodies. You may also know it as myofascial decompression, and, it has made a return to western society, especially in the athletic training room settings. But cupping is not just for movie stars and athletes… cupping is highly beneficial for everyone.
Most of the validity of cupping as an alternative medical practice comes from its long history of use over the past 3,000 years. Cupping techniques have been used extensively to treat many disorders and symptoms, sometimes on their own, or other times in conjunction with Acupuncture.
- Helps Reduce Pain
Cupping helps release tissues deep inside the body, relax tense muscles and ease stiffness associated with chronic back and neck pains, migraines, rheumatism, and fatigue. Cupping targets soft tissue by applying local pressure to pain points and areas of swelling. As blood flow increases within vessels and capillaries, tissues receive much-needed nutrients and oxygen. Cupping practitioners use pressure, heat, suctioning and needles above or below the site of injury, allowing for energy to travel along the “channels” (meridians) that pass through the injury.
- Promotes Relaxation
Cupping allows people to enter a more relaxed state since it sedates the central nervous system. The reason cupping is soothing is because the cups help lift pressure in tense muscles, which offers a relieving sensation just like receiving a deep tissue massage.
- Boosts Skin Health
Cupping is used to reduce cellulite, acne and skin inflammation. It tones and firms skin by improving blood flow and expanding capillaries, making it popular among celebrities and people in the spotlight who want to appear to have toned skin.
- Helps Treat Respiratory Issues & Colds
Commonly used to help nourish the lungs and clear away phlegm or congestion, cupping therapy in conjunction with acupuncture can be useful for speeding up healing time from respiratory illnesses like the flu or common cold. Cupping helps improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which is why it’s been associated with reductions in lung diseases (especially chronic coughs), allergies, infections and asthma.
- Improves Digestion
Acupuncture and cupping are both popular ways to improve digestion and reduce symptoms from disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is primarily because they can lower a patient’s stress response, which is highly tied to healthy digestive functioning.
Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, especially if there is an injury or energetic blockage under the area that was cupped. The skin discoloration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, but is rarely painful. Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.
Consider exploring the benefits of cupping with me, Dr. Maria Zangara here at the COE.