Have you explored the world of ancient medicine to help repair and maintain your current lifestyle yet?  If not, I encourage you to dive into a realm full of ancient therapies used to help balance a person; body, mind, and spirit.

One favorite therapy, which I often use in my Chinese Medicine practice, is called cupping therapy. 

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping Therapy uses suctioned glass, bamboo, or plastic cups to move and remove stagnation or stasis from the body. Stagnation? What does that mean? Think deoxygenated blood, fluid, phlegm, chemical overload, etc. that collects in tight muscles from old injuries, surgeries, repetitive stress, inactivity, etc. This build-up becomes toxic overload; think inflammation due to imbalance; think pain. Creating that suction allows the stagnation, aka toxic build-up, to be drawn out of the deep muscles and be released, so the dredge can be processed and eliminated from the body. 

Cupping can produce markings on the body that typically fade within 3-7 days, though sometimes lasting up to three weeks. I recently had a much needed cupping session that left several dark circular marks on my back and upper arms. The day after my treatment, I was at the grocery store and was wearing a tank-top. I had completely forgotten about the marks on my back, though remembered quickly, as I caught people staring. I always wonder what they’re thinking.

How Cupping Can Help You…

Cupping is an excellent way to maintain overall health and well-being, I believe it should be added to everyone’s health repertoire. As much as I love it, and my many patients love it, not everyone will like it. I have treated many skeptics, only to watch them learn to appreciate the value of cupping, as a result of their improved health after sessions.

  • Relieve deep musculoskeletal pain (neck, shoulder, hip, or back pain)
  • Open chest and lungs for respiratory ailments (ie. common cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia)
  • Detoxification and lymph drainage support
  • Relieve arthritis pain and inflammation
  • Relieve GYN conditions
  • Clear skin conditions (eczema, acne)
  • Relieve Stress!

It is very important to drink water following a cupping session, to avoid detox side effects, such as headaches, lethargy, or even flu-like symptoms, which are uncommon, but do happen. You can add fresh squeezed lemon for more detox support!


Fire Cupping with glass cups

Some Examples of Cupping:

In Ancient times, cups were made of bone, horn, and bamboo. Currently, plastic and glass are the most common, coming in various shapes and sizes looking like glass balls with an opening between 1-3 inches.  

  • Fire Cupping: An alcohol dipped cotton-ball is lit on fire and placed quickly in/out of glass cup. The presence of heat and lack of oxygen create a suction when the cup is placed on the patient. 
  • Dry Cupping: Suction cups are placed on areas of the body and either stay in the area or are moved around using sliding cup method. 
  • Wet Cupping: (Remember to visit a trained licensed practitioner!) While it sounds barbaric-wet cupping is medicinal bleeding and very therapeutic! Certain points or areas of pain are selected, where the practitioner pricks the skin several times with a bloodletting device, such as a lancet. The cup is placed over this area to draw out congested blood. The blood looks normal when coming out, though when the cups are removed, they may be filled with thickened, viscous blood! Labs have shown this sludge blood to be laden with heavy metals, parasites, and toxins! 

Go Get Cupped!

Please take the time to incorporate ancient therapies, such as cupping, into your life!  It might feel ‘odd’ or ‘weird’ to have suctioned cups all over your back (some patients have said they feel a little like an alien!) and you might be surprised at the circular marks left on your skin, but it’s worth  to try it, at least once! 

Seek the care of a Licensed Acupuncturist or Certified Cupping Therapist, who have gone through proper training. The Ancients have created powerful healing therapies, which are still alive in our culture today! Seek out practitioners in Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, Chinese Medicine, etc.  These deep rooted medicines are overflowing with art and skills from many cultures.