Not everyone feels comfortable with the use of needles – even the ultra-fine and painless needles used in acupuncture. While there are many health benefits to getting acupuncture, your particular ache or pain may be assisted by the ancient art of cupping. So, this is often a workable alternative to using needles.
What is Cupping?
Cupping therapy has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, but the practice dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. However, you were probably exposed to cupping much more recently – during the 2016 Olympics when Michael Phelps, gymnast Alex Naddour, and many other Olympians used cupping to help them recover more rapidly, improve mobility, and relax their muscles during the Olympic Games in Rio.
The practice of fire-cupping is very simple. An acupuncturist heats a glass, or bamboo cup and quickly puts it on your skin and area of pain. This creates a vacuum seal and draws blood to the surface. Increasing the body’s blood flow can help your body heal from mobility problems, back pain, neck aches, common cold, asthma, and more.
The Chinese Medicine theory behind cupping is that placing the cups upon the meridian pathways helps to open blockages in the circulation and flow of qi. By opening the blocked channels our energy flows freely and pain is reduced. Essentially cupping increases blood flow to the area, bringing oxygen and new blood to the area. This not only relieves blocked qi, but it can help during detox, and affect discomforts that are deep within the body – from muscle adhesions to opening the lungs.
How Can I Benefit from Cupping?
In many ways, cupping is like an inversion of massage. Instead of sending energy into the body, the suction of the cups pull skin, tissue, blood, and muscle upward. Much like massage and acupuncture, cupping has many health benefits for people with an active lifestyle – and for those of us who have more sedentary jobs.
For every Olympian or athlete who is hoping to relax a stiff muscle or heal from a sports injury rapidly, there are many cubicle warriors who can relieve stress-related issues, tension headaches, migraines, low back pain, and more using cupping. Here is a short list of the many health benefits that can be obtained through cupping therapy:
Reduction of joint pain
Improved joint mobility
Relief of back and neck pain
Anxiety and stress relief
Boost skin health
Speed up healing times
Help rapid recovery from the flu or colds
Reduce symptoms of IBS and other digestive ailments
Relieve muscle spasms or pinched nerves
Can help reduce arthritis symptoms
Diminish headache and migraine
Alleviate symptoms caused by allergies or asthma
Can improve blood and heart issues like anemia or high blood pressure
Would you like more information about cupping therapy? Take a look at my two demonstration videos on the topic. You can find them here and here. You can also schedule a cupping appointment here at AOM Health and find out how good this treatment can make you feel! Contact me to schedule an appointment.