Very few people have heard of cupping therapy, but this deep tissue treatment has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to relieve tension, remove harmful toxins and substances from the body and promote healing.
Celebrities in Hollywood, including Jennifer Aniston are backing the cupping trend, which has grown in popularity in recent years. To give you a better idea of what this treatment entails and how it can help you, we have put together the following guide:
What is cupping?
Cupping refers to a technique that uses small bamboo jars or glass cups which are placed on the skin to cause suction. These can be applied in several different ways, but a common method involves covering the bottom of the cup in alcohol, lighting it and then immediately placing the cup against the skin. Flames are never used near the skin and are not lit throughout the cupping process. They are used merely to create the heat that causes the suction in the cups.
What does cupping do?
The suction in the cups works like a reverse massage. Rather than applying pressure to the muscles, cupping gently pulls the skin and surface muscle layer upwards – providing relief to areas of tension and pain. The cups are left on the skin for around 10 minutes which gives the patient time to relax.
What are the benefits of cupping?
The suction and pressure provided by cupping can encourage blood flow, loosen muscles and calm the nervous system. As a result, the therapy has been found beneficial for helping to alleviate the pain and symptoms of conditions such as back pain, fatigue, anxiety, arthritis and stiff muscles.
Cupping therapy can even help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and is often used for treating lung conditions. When the cups are placed on the chest, they are thought to help clear congestion – providing relief to asthma sufferers and individuals with cold and flu infections.