Perhaps you’ve seen people in your gym or swimming pool with those tell-tale red or purple circles on their backs and shoulders. Don’t worry; these circular bruises are not an illness – in fact, they are signs of healing! The bruises appear after a session of Chinese medicine called “cupping”. From Olympic athletes to pregnant celebrities, people are slowly rediscovering the virtues of cupping. Phelps and many of his fellow Olympians even turn to this healing therapy to quickly restore optimal circulation, muscle relaxation and physical performance (it seems to be working as they continue to bring home medals!).
Good news is that cupping isn’t a healing art reserved only for Olympians or pop-stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston. Everyone can actually enjoy the health benefits of this magnificent healing art! People are increasingly asking to be treated by this method to relieve chronic muscle pain. But did you know that cupping therapy may be used to treat many other conditions?
But What’s Cupping?
Before discovering the incredible benefits of this magical healing therapy, let’s first take a brief look at what exactly is cupping!
Cupping therapy (or Chinese cupping) is actually an ancient and therapeutic healing practice that helps resolve chronic muscle tightness and pain faster than any other massage therapy. I see that question coming – why this name? Well, it derives from the main “tools of the trade” – the cups. Cups can be made of plastic, glass or bamboo. Several techniques are used to place the cups, but all of them draw the skin up into the inner cup, which promotes relaxation and better circulation.
Bid Farewell To Unbearable Pain
We all hate that feeling of having a twinge that just keeps twinging all day long! I mean, who doesn’t want to live a pain-free life? Well, thanks to cupping, you can bid farewell to unbearable throb! From arthritis, lower back pain, headache, migraine, dental and muscle pain to sciatica, cupping can relieve all your soreness (Yes, it can even rescue you from desperate heartbreaks!)
In today’s fast-paced culture, who doesn’t need stress relaxation
? Cupping’s unique “inverse massage” effect offers extraordinary relaxation to muscle and tissue groups that are essential for relief but often neglected by more general therapies.
Clear Congestion, Treat Asthma & Fast Healing From Colds and Flu
Congestion (accumulation of fluid or mucus in the lungs) caused by a cold, bronchitis or even asthma can be treated with cupping. The suction from the cups breaks and expels the congestion. It brings oxygen-rich blood and lymph to your lungs and other breathing muscles. The suction cups are usually placed on your back, but they can also be placed on your chest.
Your therapist may leave the cups in place or gently slide them upwards to help the lymphatic fluid move more quickly. Facial suction cups can also be used to help unblock your sinuses. They also help to dislodge and drain mucus and phlegm from the sinuses and respiratory system. At the same time, cupping can stimulate the immune response to help speed up your overall healing process.
Get Rid of All That Unwanted Junk
Even if you follow the healthiest possible diet, toxins linger in our common air and water supply (modern lifestyle certainly doesn’t help as it overloads the body with toxins). Cupping can detoxify your body’s skin and blood supply, removing dead skin cells and immediately removing unwanted toxins from the body. Targeted blood flow helps your body by removing accumulated toxins through your blood, circulatory and lymphatic systems (your lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating toxins and waste products from your body).
No More Colon Blockages and Digestive Woes
Everyone has experienced the misery of digestive disorders. One of the main ways cupping reduces digestive problems is by reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Cups also help to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow to the digestive tract. Placing cupping on the abdomen also stimulates the inside of your digestive organs. It aids your peristalsis (contractions that push food through the digestive system), helps remove blockages in the colon, encourages blood and body fluids to circulate through the organs and helps relieve indigestion.
The suction from the cups improves circulation to the area where the cups are positioned. It is, therefore, a beneficial treatment for conditions such as rheumatism, lumbago, stiff neck and shoulders. The extra blood flow to this area can help relieve muscle tension and promote cell repair.
If there’s one issue most Australians would like to fix about their bodies, it would have to be cellulite, that lumpy, bumpy surface layer of skin that no amount of dieting or exercise seems to reduce. Increasing blood circulation through cupping also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Improve Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Varicose veins look like bluish, bulging veins just under the skin, usually on the legs and feet. They occur when the valves inside the vein don’t function properly – the valves don’t efficiently push blood from the muscle to the heart, so the blood gets congested, and the veins twist and swell.
Luckily cupping can help by bringing fresh blood flow and oxygen back to the problem areas. You’ll notice your varicose veins appear lighter after your first session, though it will take a series of cupping sessions for lasting results. (Note: only dry, not wet, cupping is recommended for treating varicose veins.)
Having A Smooth Baby Skin
Much has been made of new modern skin treatments, but the truth is that sometimes the best medicine is time-tested ancient medicine. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cupping is now thought to deliver more effective results for acne and blemishes than even antibiotics! (Yay! You can finally kiss goodbye to those painful and undesired acne breakouts!).
It seems like every day there is a new “miracle cure” to slow down (or stop) the ageing process. But cupping therapy has been in use for centuries for just this reason. Clearer detoxified skin shows wrinkles and scars less and just looks younger.
Reduce Stretch Marks and Scars
Increased blood flow enables your body to dispose of toxins, restores lymphatic circulation
, and helps remove edema (excess fluid), which helps reduce the appearance of scarring. Studies have shown the positive effects of cupping on stretch marks and scars, even in areas that are far from the area where the cups are applied.
Of course, we all want to get rid of anxiety for good… It’s indeed a challenging adversary! What if I told you there was a way to reduce your heebie-jeebies? Yes, it’s possible through cupping! When your therapist glides the cups across your skin, your parasympathetic nervous system engages. As a result, this promotes deep relaxation to move through your entire body. (Your parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing your heart rate, assisting in digestion, and increasing intestinal and gland activity.)
Wondering If Cupping Could Work for You?
No matter how much you need and want to experience cupping treatment, you may experience a small amount of trepidation before your very first cupping appointment. Don’t worry – this is totally normal! And there is nothing to worry about. Cupping is entirely safe, and most people even report enjoying their treatments! The typical appointment will last 20 to 30 minutes. You can ask any questions you have before your session begins. Typically you will wear a gown and will lay down on a massage-type table for your treatment.
Are you planning to be in downtown Box Hill? Book a cupping massage at Body & Balance and experience the benefits for yourself. Backed by years of experience, they are committed to offering cutting-edge massage treatments to people of all ages!