- Posted on: Nov 10 2016
By: Heather Quinlivan L. Ac.
The use of cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years throughout various cultures for pulmonary disorders, poisonous bites, boils, and rheumatism. Recently, Michael Phelps has made Cupping therapy mainstream. The debut of his circular bruises at the 2016 Summer Olympics has revitalized its popularity.
Cupping is a simple and effective therapeutic technique, which can be used alone or in combination with acupuncture therapy. Cupping is a direct method of pulling stagnant qi (energy), blood, and fluids out of or away from an injured area. Cupping is performed by creating a vacuum in a glass cup, thereby drawing skin and muscle up into the cup. The cups are left in place for 5-10 minutes, or the area is lubricated and the cups are slowly slide around the treatment area.
Cupping is an important first step in the treatment of acute sprains and strains. In conjunction with an acupuncture treatment cupping can be useful when the injured area is swollen and discolored. During this phase, cupping and acupuncture are useful to unblock stagnated fluids and regain normal circulation.
Cupping may also be used to treat more chronic injuries. Congealed fluids at the site of an old injury can lead to impaired circulation or obstructed movement. The thickening of muscle fibers, prevents normal movement, presses on nerves, and causes pain.