by Kelly Ferguson, L.Ac.
Cupping is one of the many tools an acupuncturist has in their arsenal. It has been used for thousands of years and by many different cultures.
How Cupping Works
An acupuncturist or trained professional will take a glass cup and momentarily place a flame within it, removing the air and creating a vacuum or suction when applied to the skin. The cups will remain on the skin for 5-10 minutes and will either remain in place or be moved around by the practitioner.
Cupping helps to resolve blood stasis, remove lymph or fluids in the tissue, and relieves muscle tension in the body. Cupping essentially increases the circulation of blood and lymph in the body. Did you know you have more lymph fluid in your body than blood? Lymphatic fluid helps remove toxins and muscular waste from your body and is excreted through your sweat, urine and bowel movements.
When you receive cupping, the lymphatic system is removing the toxins and muscular waste, while fresh oxygenated blood rushes in to the area of cupping to help heal muscle tissue much faster (especially in the case of muscle injuries).
Further, cupping is often used for Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Respiratory Conditions such as a cold or bronchitis, and Musculoskeletal conditions like back, shoulder or neck pain/tension. Last year when Michael Phelps had cupping marks at the Olympics, we received many questions about cupping.
Hopefully this article helps answer some of your questions and perhaps help you form more questions. Please contact us with your new questions and curiosity about cupping if you or your family member is ready to try this awesome modality.