What is cupping? Cupping was used in China for thousands of
years. The method was used primarily to withdraw pus and blood in
the treatment of boils. Cattle horn was used in early years for
cupping therapy. The Qing dynasty introduced the use of bamboo,
ceramic and glass cups for cupping. The modern cupping instruments,
which are used in United States clinics, are glass, plastic and
rubber cups. Occasionally, bamboo cups are used.
Cupping is a simple method of suction or negative pressure that
pulls "stuck," stagnant, and congealed blood and fluids out of the
injured area. Plastic or glass cups are placed on the skin and then
applied using suction. Cups are kept on from five to 30 minutes,
according to the judgment of the acupuncturist. Cupping releases
tight, painful muscles and increases blood circulation.
Cupping therapy can also be used to treat pain, Bi syndromes,
such as low back pain, shoulder pain, leg pain caused by wind
dampness, digestive problems, and even respiration problems.
Cupping therapy has been used for cosmetic purposes such as broken
veins, breast enhancement and cellulite. I regularly use cupping in
the clinic for stress reduction, muscle pain and tightness in the
upper and lower body. Patients are always saying how wonderful
cupping feels and how relaxed they feel after their treatment.
Helping Veterans' Pain
We have been using cupping therapy in the NUHS Whole Health
Center PTSD Clinic in Lombard. Many of the veterans' bodies have
been bruised and battered. They live with constant physical pain.
They find cupping as one of the many therapeutic therapies to help
with pain management and stress reduction for PTSD.
Cupping therapy has precautions and contradictions. As a result
of performing cupping, red or purple circle will often be produced
on the skin, or you may even see black circle that may take a few
days to heal. These circles are only dark colored in the area
cupped and may result in bruising. Since cupping marks take a few
days to heal, please consider if you are going to the beach or to
an event where you will be revealing the cupped area.
Cupping is not advisable or recommended if you are pregnant,
have a circulation disorder, hemophilia, lupus, or diabetes,
sunburns, wounds, skin ulcers, edema, high fever, hemorrhages, and
are using anticoagulant drugs. Cupping is also not recommended for
children under the age of seven.
Remember cupping helps to release tight muscles, increase blood
circulation, relieve stress, move congealed body fluids, however
bruising and bleeding may sometimes occur.
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Ask about
cupping therapy next time you make your next appointment in the
Lombard clinic. Have a stress free week!