Cupping is an ancient medical treatment; its Chinese roots date back to 300 or 400 A.D. Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures also have ancient records of the practice.
Cupping is still regularly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Chinese hospitals and elsewhere. Suction cups of varying sizes are attached to the body, and the suction draws blood to the surface of the skin. Hence, the bruise-like marks.
The treatment is said to improve blood circulation, thereby speeding up healing, reducing pain and easing muscle soreness. Cupping helps “jumpstart” the body’s natural healing process.
You may remember watching the Olympics, seeing marks that looked like hickeys on swimmers Michael Phelps and Cody Miller. Phelps and Miller both swear by the treatment. At a press conference, Phelps said he gets cupping done before most meets, and Miller told USA Today that cupping has been a “secret … that keeps me healthy. It’s been better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.”
What Should I Expect?
Cupping is not painful, most say it’s a very relaxing experience. You may feel suction, similar to the feel of a vacuum placed on the skin. Most cups are placed in certain areas, depending on what you need work on. Some are placed where you are having areas of tension. Others will be placed in areas to work on whatever ailment you suffer from. Some cups may be used as a way of massage, gliding with oil applied to the skin. Depending on what the treatment calls for, cups are typically left in the area from 5-20 minutes.
Will I Be Bruised or Have Hickey-Like Marks?
The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, and range from a light pink to dark purple, sometimes small bumps may appear, as well as a slight clear liquid. These usually last 3 days to a week – sometimes longer if the person is very sick or sedentary. If there is no stagnation present, there will be only a pink marking which disappears in a few minutes to a couple of hours.
If the person receiving treatment sweats a lot on a daily basis – no marks may ever occur. People who live/work/play in toxic environments (or were exposed to a heavy dose of toxic material) may consistently mark. Sites where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple treatments to remove all stagnation. You will find in follow-up treatments, marks will be progressively lighter, as pathogens are systemically removed from the body.
Suction pulls toxins, pathogenic factors, blood poison, dead lymph and cellular debris from deep within the tissues to the surface. These debilitating agents are then more easily expelled from the body. The deposits dissipate from a few hours up to several weeks, depending on the amount of stagnation and the patient’s post treatment activities.
Cupping is Good For:
• Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia
• Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
• Fertility and gynecological disorders
• Skin problems such as eczema, cellulite, and acne
• High blood pressure
• Anxiety and depression
• Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
• Varicose veins
• Muscle injuries or tension
• Cellulite and weight management
If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call Leaves of Life at (614) 888-HERB (4372)
I look forward to meeting you and helping you on your journey to wellness.
Brittany Baumgartner, LMT