Cupping Therapy; About, Benefits & Contraindications

Cupping Therapy is a traditional, time-honored treatment that remains a favorite by millions of people worldwide because it’s safe, comfortable, and remarkably effective for many health disorders.  The efficacy of this therapy has been documented through several thousands of years of historical, clinical, and subjective research.  Now, with the influence and growing popularity of TCM, Ayurveda, and other influential healing methodologies – Cupping Therapy has reemerged in the Western Holistic Community as a subtle, yet remarkably effective healing modality.

Cupping utilizes negative pressure, rather than tissue compression, and can be used in conjunction with a wide array of bodywork techniques.  When movement is involved, is referred to as Glide Cupping.  The application of cups whether glided through tissue or left to suction on an area; releases rigid tissue, drains excess fluids and toxins, loosens adhesions (such as scar tissue), lifts connective tissue, and brings blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles.

Myofascial release is direct, and with the correct application of cups to perform MFR this therapy addresses a myriad of debilitating and stubborn conditions.  Restructuring of the myofascial bands is possible with cumulative treatments, and there is no form of lymphatic stimulation and drainage that even comes close to the efficacy and speed that suction can achieve.  The pulling/lifting action engages the parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. turns on the calm state of being in the body), thus allowing for deep relaxation to move through the entire body.  Clients often remark how relaxed, warm, and light they feel – hours…sometimes even days afterward.

Cells use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide.  Normally the body gets rid of cell waste via the circulatory system.  However, carbon dioxide and other cell wastes, like lactic acid and metabolic waste, can become stagnant in the ischemic tissues.   Modern life bombards the body with; food additives like preservatives, carcinogens, pesticides, steroids, antibiotics, hormones, aluminum, and nitrates which can also become stagnant because the human biosystem wasn’t designed to deal with these agents.  When cell wastes and toxins are stagnated in muscles or joints, it’s difficult for the body to get rid of them, and if these toxins remain there the waste will cause tissue irritation, pain, and dysfunction. 

When qi (life force energy) and blood circulate freely, they remove this build-up.  Cupping pulls stagnation out of tissues and brings it to the skin level.  The pores expand discharging some of these wastes and toxins, the rest is then more accessible to the body’s circulatory and lymphatic systems where it can be properly flushed out.  Cupping brings fresh, revitalized blood to stagnant stressed areas which brings in needed nutrients to each cell for use of repair and healing. 

Cupping decreases compacted ischemic tissue areas by lifting connective tissue, loosening areas of adhesions/restrictions, flushes the area with fresh blood, therefore creating more space for the fascial layers to be restructured.  It activates the muscle spindle reflexes and relaxes contractile tissue thus retraining the myofascial structures as well.  Contracted, congested tissue structures will soften quickly as cupping is remarkable on rigid aching muscles, and activating the secretion of synovial fluids to release joint stiffness in ways not possible using the pressure of traditional massage.  Increasing blood flow to areas of ischemic tissue reduces pain, raises skin temperature, promotes metabolism within the skin tissue for better functioning of sweat and sebaceous glands, flushes capillary beds, drains; stagnant blood, toxins, and lymph, while re-supplying vital nutrients to the tissue.  Cupping stimulates the nervous system to reflex to the cerebral cortex, increasing the rate of recovery from pain, and disease.

Contraindications:

  • Keep warm and avoid any draft for 24hours after receiving cupping because cupping therapy temporarily strips the Wei Qi (the body’s protective layer) in order to vent toxins.
  • Avoidance of cold, wind, hot baths and strenuous exercise is strongly recommended.
  • Broken bones, dislocations, hernias, slipped discs, organ failure, and those undergoing cancer therapies are contraindicated.
  • Areas of skin that are sunburned, ruptured, ulcerated/inflamed, 3D Varicosities, affected areas during acute stages of; Psoriasis, Eczema, or Rosacea, those with easy bleeding conditions, or recent surgical incisions are all contraindicated.
  • Cupping will not be applied to areas of Hives, Herpes, or Shingles outbreaks.
  • Those with high fever or convulsion condition, those with liver or kidney function illnesses, and Cardiopathy are contraindicated.
  • I do not do cupping on pregnant women in my practice.
  • Biomagnetic therapy can not be used on persons with computer implants like a pacemaker, or insulin monitor.

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