What is cupping?
Cupping is a simple method of pulling “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 three to fifteen minutes, according to the judgment of the acupuncturist. Cupping releases tight, painful muscles and increases blood circulation.
How does cupping help my injury?
After any injury, areas that you hurt are areas that now have a blockage of blood and body fluids. Injured joints become swollen and painful. Backs become stiff, painful and difficult to move. This blockage of blood and body fluids that accompanies an injury is like a beaver dam. The force of the accident or injury creates the initial obstruction – the sticks, mud and leaves of the dam. The free flowing water of the mountain stream is slowed down to a small trickle as stagnant water backs up behind the dam. And like the water of a beaver dam, which can cause flu like symptoms for those who swim in it, the stagnant blood and body fluids that occur at the injury can cause pain and inflammation. Just as the still waters of a beaver dam heat up in the sunlight, stagnant blood and fluids in our body are heated up by our naturally warm body temperatures.
Eventually, with time, the body may be able to unblock these injured areas and return to healthy circulation. Sometimes, even after surgery, the injured area continues to hurt, and never feels completely the same. That’s why you come to get acupuncture and therapy – to speed up the rate at which you heal, and to increase your body’s ability to heal itself completely. But to do this, the beaver dam has to be moved so that blood can flow through the injured area, healing the injured muscles, joint, tendons, and bones. If the area is still blocked and “dammed up” then the body cannot properly heal.
Acupuncture uses acupuncture needles to increase the flow of blood to the area so that an injury can heal faster and better than it would without acupuncture. But if the area is badly dammed up, and circulation is increased, the dam just begins to get bigger and bigger. Increasing circulation actually makes it worse but only because first, the dam needs to be moved, and then increasing the circulation of the water (the injury) will assist the body’s healing process. This is where cupping really helps.
What should I be known the result of cupping?
If you are very concerned with bruising or discoloration, cupping may not be the right therapy for you. 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.