If you have been watching the Olympics, you have surely seen the excitement surrounding the telltale signs of cupping showing up on the backs, legs, shoulders and chests of many American athletes. But it is not just for athletes!
What is cupping? It is an ancient therapy during which a glass, plastic or bamboo cup is attached to the skin using suction to break up the stagnation of energy, or qi, and blood in an area. Breaking up the stagnation allows the qi and blood to flow freely through the meridians and vessels, helping to diminish pain.
The cups may be slid along the skin to cover a larger area or left in place for up to 10 minutes. The therapy can leave red or purple marks on the skin where the cups were applied, which also helps the practitioner in diagnosis of the patient’s condition.
Cupping is highly effective at relieving pain and muscle tension and improving circulation. It is also used to relieve coughing, asthma, the early signs of the common cold and other lung issues.
While cupping has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, it has been used as a therapy in many cultures throughout the world as well, including Egyptian, Native American, Early Greek, European and other Asian cultures.
Let’s treat your aches and pains with cupping next!