Cupping is used to heal your body and is a preferred form of therapy chosen by many. It can be used to relieve muscle tension and helps improve your circulation, but what are the other benefits?
Descending from traditional Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine, cupping is used to treat conditions like pain and muscle spasms. Traditionally glass cups are heated to create a vacuum that sucks up the skin.
You will experience some bruising that can last anywhere between a few days to weeks. While these bruises make for fantastic stories, there are benefits to them.
Dry vs. wet cupping
Cupping is done on specific pressure points around the body, which are also used for a different procedure, acupuncture. An alternative to the traditional fire or heating cupping is air cupping which uses plastic cups and a mechanical suction technique.
Dry cupping only uses suction as a treatment method; wet cupping, on the other hand, uses a bleeding technique when done safely, removes toxins from the blood.
With wet cupping, you don’t lose a lot of blood, a small incision is made with a lancet, and the cup is placed over. You can choose to do it with fire or air cupping.
Benefits of cupping
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that cupping improves the flow of your energy or ‘qi’ by removing anything that blocks the healthy flow of energy. Its primarily used to treat muscle spasms and pain like back pain.
Research done in China suggests that cupping can treat a variety of conditions. Many athletes used it as a form of sports recovery throughout the Rio Olympics in 2016 which you could see the markings on their bodies.
It’s been used to treat skin conditions like acne and shingles. This is probably based on the belief that cupping draws out toxins from the body, which may aid in the relief of acne breakouts.
Other conditions traditionally treated are paralysis, high blood pressure, and eczema. Extensive research needs to be conducted on its effectiveness because if not done safely, especially with wet cupping, it can lead to side effects like and infection.
If you’ve been for a session of cupping and have experienced relief without side effects, then it is entirely safe to continue treatment. Your experience may benefit from better-researched treatments but consult your doctor if you want to combine treatments!
Dr Saadiqah Hajat