Curious about cupping? The Chinese medical therapy called “cupping” has been getting copious media attention as Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, and Justin Bieber show off the tell-tale marks from their classic cupping sessions. You may be wondering about this therapy and its potential benefits for your health.
Cupping therapy is part of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for over 1000 years to eliminate pain, headaches, respiratory conditions, digestive disorders, gynecological conditions, and reduce adhesions. In practice, I find it most efficacious in reversing chronic pain. Typically, I use it for patients who have chronic back pain that radiates from the neck, shoulders, low back and especially the hips. I have seen wonderful results in treating tension headaches. This is also an excellent therapy for runners with knee pain and tight IT bands.
Simply put, cupping therapy brings blood flow to the muscle and fascia of a region. This increased blood flow allows for necessary nutrients to flow into a region. With the increased blood flow, the body can then clear out waste products that have been locked up in stagnant tissue. When you are dealing with chronic pain, usually the tissue becomes fibrotic, less flexible, range of motion is decreased, and there is reduced blood flow to the region. I consider 1 session of cupping to be the therapeutic equivalent of 5 massages. Muscles get the needed blood flow, stagnation is removed, and regions that were locked up become open and free-moving.
The therapy consists of using specialized glass cups heated with a flame, and then applied to the locked up muscles. The cups are either left to rest, or your doctor will gently glide them along the skin. Patients report that they feel a mild pulling sensation. After the session, you may have the infamous marks similar to those seen recently on the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow; generally circular and reddish in color. The marks clear up in a few days and are completely normal. After the cupping, your doctor will instruct you to increase your water consumption, avoid strenuous physical activity and extreme heat for 24 hours. The benefit is usually felt within two days of cupping. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may only need one session to feel permanent relief from chronic pain. If you have been suffering for many years, you may need three or four consecutive treatments to finally clear out and heal all the fibrosis, but you will notice benefit after the first therapy.
I love using this therapy because my patients get immediate relief. Frequently, I combine cupping with a standard acupuncture session which increases the effectiveness of treatment. Begin your journey to pain free living today. Call Santan Natural Medicine at 480-636-1068 to book your appointment with me today!