by Barbara Meza
Cupping therapy is a safe, comfortable and effective treatment for many health disorders, with roots in ancient medical practice, in cultures as diverse as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Aztec, Native American, China and more. The current influence of Traditional Chinese Medicine and traditional ayurvedic medicine has seen a reintegration of this healing therapy.
There are many methods of cupping, including stationary, dynamic, massage, bio-magnetic and facial rejuvenation cupping, among others. This modality can be integrated into other bodywork or received as a stand-alone treatment for stubborn conditions and orthopedic injuries. In many applications, the results from cupping protocols are comparable to other expensive and painful treatments—many requiring surgery.
The gentle pulling action of massage cupping engages the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the body to float into deep relaxation. A sense of lightness, warmth and relaxation often lasts for hours—or even days—after treatment.
Using suction and negative pressure, a vacuum is created, lifting skin, muscles and connective tissues. The slow movement of the cups is able to penetrate deep into the muscles and fascia, releasing rigid soft tissue, gently loosening adhesions to break up and drain stagnation, while increasing blood and lymphatic flow. A cupping treatment offers many of the benefits of deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, sports massage, abdominal massage and myofascial release not possible using tissue compression.
On a therapeutic level, cupping is beneficial for many health conditions including asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, sinus congestion, frozen shoulder, chronic colon congestion, anxiety, sports injuries, carpal tunnel, tendinitis, migraines and tension headaches, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. It is also beneficial for the treatment of pain, disorders of the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems and to support detoxification.
The increased circulation of blood and lymph, drainage of waste and the loosening of adhesions improves the appearance of varicose veins, scar tissue and stretch marks and lessens the appearance of dimpling on the thighs, hips and buttocks associated with cellulite.
Digestive function as a whole may be enhanced with abdominal cupping. This gentle treatment stimulates the organs and the secretion of digestive fluids, increases peristaltic movement and promotes better nutrient absorption.
The respiratory system responds well to cupping therapy and breathing can improve for those with asthma and pneumonia. Sinus congestion, infection and inflammation are directly relieved by the loosening and draining effects of the cups.
Stubborn and painful joint conditions may benefit by the stretching of connective tissues, increased circulation and improved secretion of synovial fluid, thereby releasing congestion and stiffness and improving the range of motion.
Facial rejuvenation therapy has been practiced in Asia, Europe and Russia for generations. This relaxing and efficient treatment utilizes small suction cups to vacuum and lift the facial tissue and increase lymph drainage. The benefits of this treatment include increased circulation and nutrients brought to the skin as stagnant fluids are drained, reduced edema and chronic puffiness and softened lines, wrinkles and scar tissue.
Cupping aids in detoxification. When the body is subjected to food additives, preservatives and other external toxins that it is unable to break down and release, the toxins often become stored in the body, increasing an overall sense of malaise or muscle and joint pain. The suction process of cupping therapy pulls cellular debris and toxic waste to the surface, where it is released through the skin or picked up by the blood and lymph for elimination.
Whether looking for improved flexibility, more vitality, enhanced immune system, increased digestive function or to support detoxification, consider a contemporary cupping treatment and experience feeling lighter and more energized.
Barbara Meza is a healing artist and owner of Conscius Vita, in Yardley. Connect with her at 201-978-7335 or ConsciusVita.com. See ad, page 15. February 2015.