Quite unknown until recently to most of us living in the West, cupping therapy is an alternative healing method long been used in China for over a millennium. Ancient texts reveal that different styles of cupping techniques might actually be more ancient — perhaps as far back as 3000 B.C. Why? Because cupping therapy offers a wide range of health benefits that more often than not, outweigh current Western medicine modalities.
Perhaps, the greatest benefit of using alternative techniques like massage therapy, acupuncture vancouver bc or cupping therapy is that these therapies are free of adverse side effects the can be experienced from surgery or pharmaceutical drugs.
There’s actually no negative downside to speak of when using cupping and other alternative practices, since researches reveal they can help strengthen the immune system and accelerate healing time without the help of herbs or drugs. And this is just one sample of what cupping therapy can offer you.
Cupping Therapy Benefits
Much of the proof of cupping therapy’s efficacy comes from its over three millennia of use. Cupping procedures have been widely used to address a gamut of symptoms and disorders, occasionally on their own, or sometimes combined with other alternative methods. In this therapy, it’s common to combine it with essential oils and massage therapy and even with Western medical treatments and acupuncture.
Based on a few scientific studies, what we know about cupping is that it can dilate the capillaries and increase the flow of fluid coming in and out of the tissues. In addition, cupping therapy appears to stimulate relaxation in some individuals, which implies its usefulness for preventing and reducing the negative effects of stress.
While tons of anecdotal proof are available showing cupping to be safe and effective, to date, little research involving humans has been done, which makes it difficult to validate many of its time-tested healing powers. Nonetheless, cupping has worked for millions of people for many years. The following is an enumeration of the five ways cupping can be of use to you:
1. It Improves Digestion
Cupping combined with acupuncture is the best way to relieve IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms and boost digestive function. This is mostly due to its ability to reduce the stress response of a person, which is closely associated with a healthy digestion.
Over the years, cupping therapy has been shown to benefit people suffering from water retention, gastrointestinal disease, appetite loss, diarrhea, and frequent stomach pains. For digestive problems, this therapy is usually administered in the following areas: over the abdomen, around the kidneys, over the bladder, and around the belly button.
2. Cures Colds and Other Respiratory Diseases
Often used to alleviate congestion, expel phlegm, and nourish the lungs, cupping can also help accelerate the body’s healing processes from respiratory diseases such as common cold and flu. It bolsters the immune system by facilitating the movement of lymphatic fluid and blood throughout the body. And this is the reason it’s been affiliated with reductions in asthma, infections, allergies, chronic coughing, and lung diseases.
Curing pulmonary tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases is one of the oldest uses for cupping. It was used long before prescriptions were invented.
3. Upgrades the Health of the Skin
Cupping has been shown to treat skin inflammation, acne, cellulite, and herpes among others. Although medical research hasn’t yet proven it help you lose weight, cupping actually has the power to firm and tone your skin by dilating capillaries and increasing circulation. This is why it the beauty therapy of choice of people in the spotlight and celebrities who want to look naturally young and beautiful. As part of a cellulite or skin-cleansing treatment, before the cups are suctioned and moved around, oil is first applied on the skin. This prevents intense friction to the skin and adds different skin-healing ingredients to the skin.
While cupping is a proven way to increase blood flow and relieve inflammation, certain acne medical studies have shown it to be just as good or even a lot more effective at treating the disease compared to drugs. A meta-analysis of six studies revealed that in the curing of acne, the rate of cure of wet cupping was superior compared to rate of cure following the use of antibiotics (ketoconazole, tetracycline, and tanshinone).
4. Stimulates Relaxation
Since cupping soothes the central nervous system, it is used to help relieve physical ailments and enables people to enter into a more relaxing state. Acupuncture generates these same effects, which you might think is uncomfortable and hurts but actually, helps reduce stress in people and helping prevent the rise of depression and anxiety.
How can cupping be relaxing?
Just by being “taken care of” and laying still during a session of cupping can induce a relaxing effect on the psychological well-being of a person. This is the healing art that’s used to decrease mental illnesses. The person might need to remain still for up to twenty minutes once the cups are applied to the skin and suctioned. Patients who otherwise might lead frenetic lives might be forced to remain silent and still during a cupping procedure. One other reason cupping is deemed to be a soothing therapy, is that it helps reduce pressure in tight muscles, which provides a relieving experience just like being given a deep tissue massage.
5. Helps Reduce Pain
One reason people suffering from muscle and joint pain are turning to alternative treatments is because they’re concerned at the various negative side effects, most of them serious, drugs have. After a review of scores of randomized clinical trials that tested cupping therapy, the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a report explaining how patients suffering from low back pain experienced significant relief of their back problems compared to conventional medical treatments (prescription and OTC painkillers).
Cupping has been proven to loosen deep tissues inside the body, relieve fatigue, rheumatism, migraines, chronic neck and back pains, and tense muscles. Some athletes who tried the therapy reported a natural improvement in their performance and a reduction in joint pains, muscle cramps, muscle stiffness and scar tissue due to injuries.
Cupping affects the soft tissue through application of mild to firm pressure on areas were swelling and pain is felt. As circulation improves in the capillaries and vessels, tissues receive more oxygen and essential nutrients. Practitioners of cupping therapy may use needles, suction, heat, or pressure on or near the treatment site, enabling energy to flow smoothly along the meridians or energy channels of the body that pass through the injury.
Cups are typically applied over the following areas to help relieve pain:
o around the lower back
o by the neck (to relieve migraines, toothaches, or tension headaches)
o over the loins/groin
o over the fleshy area of the shoulder blades