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Cupping

 

Cupping is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that is utilised by many Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners to alter a patients suffering or as part of an existing treatment. The technique is said to influence the flow of both Qi and Blood throughout the body and or meridians. Cupping was originally called "horn therapy", but there are also variations adopted in other countries such as Greece, France, Italy, Turkey, Eastern Europe and even as far as South America. Cupping's long history of use in acupuncture practice has been well noted, however, it can be seen as a therapy in its own right.

Cupping is a safe, non-invasive, and an inexpensive technique, which practitioners use to treat a myriad of conditions, like colds & flus, upper respiratory infections, and problems of the internal organs. Recently, cupping has been in the media for muscular pain, bone pain and spasms, particularly on the back and shoulders. Cupping therapy stimulates micro blood circulation, to the localised area.

Cupping
Cupping
Cupping

Treatments begin with a comprehensive diagnosis of the patient through questioning, pulse & tongue examinations and other methods. The goals in TCM are to balance and improve the flow of Qi and Blood. When Qi or Blood has been influenced, by either cold or injury, blood stagnation (pain) will develop.

 

Cupping disperses and moves Qi and Blood by exerting suction and pressure on the prescribed area. Cupping is primarily used when the Qi is inhibited at certain points, or when Qi stagnation needs to be drawn to the surface of the body from deep within. For instance, cupping can be used to pull out such conditions as "wind-cold", which in Chinese medicine is believed to be an exogenous pathogenic factor, which will affect the Lung organ. In this manner it can treat Cough, Congestion, and Tightness in the Chest.

Cupping
Cupping
Cupping

To create a vacuum seal on the skin, a flame from a burning cotton ball held with in forceps is placed in and out an upside-down cup (see pics above). When the oxygen in the cup is exhausted, the glass cup is placed directly on to the skin, where it is held in place by a strong suction. Often, the skin inside the cup visibly rises with the suction. There are also cups available that use manual hand pumping instead of the traditional burning type to create the suction. Cupping is generally considered a painless procedure.

More than one cup at a time, in varying sizes, is used to cover an area thoroughly. Cups may be left for several minutes, or removed quickly and placed elsewhere. Cups are sometimes placed over an acupuncture needle that has been inserted. Moving or sliding cupping, which is a variation, may also be performed, first by rubbing the skin with a small amount of oil - which permits the cups to slide with ease. After a cupping session, patients may wish to remain lying down for several minutes. When cups are used to treat colds and flus patients are advised to wrap up in blankets to stay warm after the treatment. Acupuncturists may also prescribe herbal remedies, dietary changes, and other health recommendations, to coincide with the treatment.

Cupping causes blood to be drawn to the surface of the skin, red marks, swelling, and circular bruising can appear .These marks shall subside with in a few hours or days.

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