In the last few decades, the medical industry has turned over a new leaf. Given a choice, people are gearing more towards alternative medicine over allopathic drugs and invasive procedures. Who wouldn’t if you are being promised good health minus all the unpleasant side effects?
One such method that has grabbed attention is the cupping therapy. Although still new in the United States, this healing technique is quite ancient and has been widely practiced for years in China, Egypt, Middle East and Eastern European cultures.
So, what exactly is the cupping therapy?
A trained therapist applies heated cups to specific areas of your body, generally muscular areas like the back, stomach, arms and legs. The cups could be of glass, plastic or silicone.
There are different ways in which the cupping therapy is done. The first is the “dry cupping” or the “fire cupping” method. A cotton ball is soaked in an inflammable substance such as rubbing alcohol. The cotton ball is set on fire and used to heat the cups. Alternately, the cups are heated in hot water or oil.
Once the cup is well-heated, it is immediately placed on the patient’s skin. As the skin rises, it seals the cup off completely. The heat creates a vacuum causing the skin and muscles to form a small puff. The cup is allowed to sit in this position for a few minutes before it is safely removed. In the “moving cupping” method, the cups are not held in a single position, but are moved smoothly over different areas. The therapist first applies oil or cream to the skin before the cups are applied. The reddened areas are due to the suction and expansion of the blood vessels.
The second method is the wet cupping method. After applying and removing the cups, the cupping therapist makes small incisions to the skin. The suction is repeated to draw out small quantities of blood. The third method is the combination of cupping with acupuncture. This one is the most effective of all the three. It involves inserting needles before the cup is placed onto the skin.
As a healing therapy, the cupping method works deep at the tissue level. It:
• Gets rid of toxins accumulated in the tissues.
• Relaxes the body by relieving tensed and knotted muscles.
• Reduces inflammation.
• Improves blood circulation and thus promotes healing.
• Boosts immune function helping fight flu, colds and allergies.
• Enhances performance by stimulating energy flow across the body.
Cupping Therapy and Pain Mitigation
The cupping therapy is known for its varied therapeutic effects. However, pain mitigation is among the most well known. It is for this reason that a number of athletes swear by it. It helps for the following pain conditions:
• It relieves migraines and tension headaches.
• It reduces the intensity of joint and muscle pains; thus, you can get relief with muscle injuries, back aches, neck pain and stiffness.
• People with rheumatism or arthritis-induced pain can consider the cupping therapy as a long-term remedy.
• It soothes pain triggered by respiratory conditions.
• You will be surprised to know that the cupping therapy can also make toothaches more bearable.
• For women who suffer severe menstrual cramps, the cupping therapy can be an effective alternative for pain medications.