Written by: Brittany Carson (follow me at @doctormambear)
Have you tried cupping? Chances are if you have you love it! And if not, I bet you’re going to book an appointment after reading this blog post.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Cupping uses glass cups and a flame to create a negative pressure which creates the suction effect on the body that feels oh so good. There are three main techniques we use in cupping therapy:
- Moving Cupping where we first massage herbal infused oil on the body, typically the back and then place the cups and move or glide them around the UB meridian and specific muscles.
- Flash Cupping where we apply the cup(s) and then remove them right away, repeating this process until we see the desired colour appearing on the body.
- Static Cupping where we place the cups and leave them for a few minutes, monitoring the colour change and then removing them. These three techniques are completely customizable and can be used individually or combined depending on what your practitioner feels would be the most beneficial for you!
This TCM modality is so fun to use as the practitioner and feels incredible as the patient: promoting blood circulation, releasing muscle and fascial tension, inviting warmth into the body and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. So, whether you’re experiencing muscle soreness or decreased range of motion to painful periods or emotional imbalances, cupping can help support your wellness journey, and in fact has been for centuries!
The use of cupping in ancient cultures has been traced back to four primary civilizations: Egypt, China, Greece and Islam. It was recorded the use of animal horns as cups which were replaced over time by bamboo cups and then glass, metal or silicone cups. In China, cupping therapy can be traced back to the Han Dynasty where a famous herbalist/alchemist named Ge Hong was recorded as being the first to use cupping therapy in China and believed that when “combining acupuncture and cupping half of all illnesses can be cured”.
Despite recent athlete and celebrity popularity, cupping has been supporting wellness long before Michael Phelps shared his purple cupping marks during the Rio Games! This therapy is accessible and beneficial for most people! So go ahead if you haven’t already and visit our interns at CITCM Clinic to give this ancient healing practice a try for yourself!
Reference: History of Cupping, Phil Romeril, Melbourne Remedial Massage News, 09/09/2019