Recently, cupping received significant media attention after bruises in the shape of perfect circles appeared on the backs and shoulders of Olympic athletes in Rio. So if you are one of those wondering what the fuss is all about, you’ve come to the right place.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative Chinese medicine that dates back thousands of years. It is entirely focused on blood circulation, bringing blood to areas that it doesn’t normally reach by applying a heated cup to generate a partial vacuum that mobilizes the blood flow and promotes effective healing.
When we tense our muscles through training and other physical exercises, the connective tissue tends to twist and become stiffer, which in turn makes the work of the muscles even more difficult.
The practice of cupping not only improves circulation, but by releasing muscle tension, it prevents pain, has a rejuvenating effect on the body, and boosts the immune system. It is often used by athletes as a preventative measure.
Relatively simple as a procedure, this therapy involves warming up a glass cup, putting it on the skin, and then pulling it away from the body. This improves muscle relaxation and blood flow, and here are 9 great reasons why you should give cupping therapy a go:
1. Excellent For Pain Relief
Both research and practice have demonstrated that cupping therapy can provide pain relief, including cancer pain. By applying pressure to pain points and swelling areas of the body, cupping helps to increase blood flow and send important nutrients and oxygen to tissues. Also by using pressure, heat, and suctioning near the painful areas of the body, practitioners tap into the body’s meridians allowing energy to flow through the injured tissue.
2. Excellent for Colds, Coughs and Allergy Symptoms
Cupping therapy shows its worth even when it comes alleviating colds and coughs, particularly by stimulating the lungs and other organs in the body to dispose of phlegm and accelerate the healing process. One of the oldest applications of cupping therapy is treating respiratory diseases like pulmonary tuberculosis, which was utilized long before access to prescriptions came to be.
According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the warm cup helps relieve stress in tense muscles and provides a psychical sensation similar to receiving a deep tissue massage.
4. Body Detox
With physical strain and poor blood flow, the body can build up toxins which can lead to various health conditions. As cupping improves blood flow and circulation, affected areas are relieved from stagnated blood and toxins and receive a healthy dose of oxygen and nutrients.
5. It Heals Injuries Faster By Inducing Inflammation
We all know about the harmful effects of inflammation within the body, however, a little inflammation can be a good thing. Being a part of the body’s defense system, it works to speed up the healing process of illnesses and injuries. Cupping therapy works to draw blood to the affected area, enabling new blood vessels to be created to aid in healing.
6. Helps With Skin-related Conditions
This therapy has proven its effectiveness against various skin conditions. It helps with acne and eczema, lessens herpes breakouts, reduces skin inflammation, and diminishes cellulite. One research, for example, even demonstrates that cupping is more effective in treating acne than pharmaceutical antibiotics. The study revealed cupping to be way better than prescription medications such as tetracycline.
7. It Helps Relieve Digestive Disorders
The well known IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is first on the list of stomach conditions lessened by cupping therapy. This is because the therapy has been proven to improve a person’s stress response, which in turn is linked to proper stomach function. History is full of records of cupping therapy being used to cure people of diarrhea, stomach pains, acute gastritis, loss of appetite and water retention.
8. Has An Anti-Aging Effect
Cupping is also promoted for its ability to provide anti-aging effects such as battling wrinkles. In the long run, it can actually help the body slow down the aging process altogether. This is done through the therapy’s main benefit, which is improving circulation. As we grow older, the body’s circulatory system in charge of blood flow, oxygen and nutrient distribution, starts to slow down, partially contributing to the aging process. This results in loss of muscle definition and the appearance of wrinkles. As mentioned previously, cupping therapy improves body circulation and encourages collagen production.
9. Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very painful and progressive condition that works against your hand strength and sensation by disabling a key nerve, which causes numbness or even total loss of hand function. Cupping therapy, according to a German research, can provide significant pain relief. In fact, only a single session is enough to significantly reduce pain and symptoms for a week.