Chinese cupping therapy is another modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine besides acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine. This practice dates back over 2,000 years but has received recent attention in the media due to its use by world-class Olympics athletes for injury relief. Cupping combined with acupuncture can provide great pain relief. Cupping may also help you with many health conditions from pain management right through to respiratory disorders. This may make it an excellent alternative to drugs and surgery for many people.
What is cupping?
Cupping is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. In this treatment, suction cups of varying sizes are applied to the body and the pressure in the cup is reduced (either by heat or suction) in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. It can help to manage pain through improving blood circulation and easing muscle soreness. Cupping is generally painless and many say is more effective than massage for muscle related conditions.
Is Chinese cupping safe?
Cupping is generally considered to be safe for healthy people when performed by a trained Chinese Medicine practitioner. However, bruising, soreness, burns, discomfort, and skin infections are possible. Cupping should not be performed on people with underlying health conditions as more serious side effects can occur. People considering cupping should not delay conventional treatment for their condition or use cupping in place of conventional treatment.
How does Chinese cupping therapy work?
Glass cups are generally used for cupping, although bamboo cups are also used. Cups are activated by using a flame inside the cup to create heat, which cools and creates the desired suction effect when applied to the skin. Cups are usually left in place for 5-10 minutes although the time can range from five to fifteen minutes. Due to the suction, blood vessels expand causing red marks to remain on the skin. These marks usually last 1-2 days and are not indicative of trauma.
Cupping is based on the meridian theory of the body. It removes any stagnation in the body and opens the meridians so that qi can flow freely. Cupping pulls blood to a region to stimulate healing. It can assist in stretching tight fascia and muscles.
What Chinese cupping therapy can help?
Chinese cupping therapy can be used in the management of pain, sports or muscle injuries, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases, in consultation with other treating health practitioners. Cupping should be performed on fleshy areas of the body and should not be used on inflamed or irritated skin, in persons with high fever, convulsions or an increased tendency to bruise, or on the abdominal or lower back area during pregnancy.
For more information regarding Chinese cupping therapy, please call your closest location (Perth Clinic: 57/76 Newcastle Street (08) 9228 8828, Subiaco Clinic: 6/1 Sheen Street (08) 9380 4171). Alternatively, you can send us your queries through our online contact page.