Have you seen those purple circles on Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympics?
It is a prevalent method used nowadays not only by Chinese but also by Western people. It has been around for about 35 centuries in Egypt. Though it has been attributed to hieroglyphics writings, it is still believed to be a Chinese invention. The cupping technique is widely practiced today in countries like Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Malta, Finland, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, China, and has achieved some popularity in the United States.
While there are conventional medical methods today, ancient cupping therapy is continually being practiced by many alternative medicine practitioners for various treatments of ailments. Cupping technique hence is not limited to alternative medicine professionals since it can be simply learned and applied to treat common health problems.
Why Cupping is Safe for Pain Relief
In conjunction with acupuncture and moxibustion treatments, cupping technique could be the safest alternative approach for pain relief and ultimate healing without undergoing surgery or intake of drugs. This method involves a glass or fine plastic cups commonly with suction tubes. However, it is believed that from ancient times, a hollowed animal horn is used in East Asia to remove toxins out of snakebites. Another is a bamboo cut accordingly and was boiled with a set of herbs for a specific remedy. Today, there are different types of suction pump cups. Screw vacuum and glass fire cups are some of the popular cupping methods as well.
Effective healing happens when cups are placed on the surface of the skin to allow blood stasis. Cups placed at the back opens five meridians- the conduits of body where energy flows through every body part, tissue, and organ. Vacuum is brought in the vessel causing the skin to rise and seal it against the skin. This decrease in pressure creates a vacuum to draw blood and lymph to the area. It sucks bad blood from the body to help cleanse the system of the patient.
One of the techniques in cupping is to place a drop or two of alcohol in the glass, swirl around to coat the interior of the cup, then lights it on fire to be placed over the area to be cupped. The alcohol will burn off creating the heat to expand the gas in the cup. Another brings us to "Lightening Flame,” cotton ball is soaked in alcohol and clamped in a hemostat. The cups are placed on its side and lit cotton ball is held in the cup for a few seconds before removal of the flame then placing of the cup on the skin.
Cupping Fires out Stress and Pain
Most people who are familiar with cupping use it as a treatment for relieving symptoms of the common cold or flu. Cupping is also used for relaxation and stress relief; most are looking for pain suppression for back pain, neck pain, frozen shoulder, old football or rugby injuries, repetitive stress injuries.