Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy with it’s earliest documented use being 3,000 years ago. It’s based on the belief that certain symptoms may be caused by stagnant blood and a poor energy (qi) flow. By creating warmth, cupping helps to promote the free flow of qi and blood in the body.
With cupping therapy, a series of cups (glass, plastic or silicone) are applied to the skin’s surface. The air within the cup is suctioned out, creating a vacuum which causes the skin within to be raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The cups may be stationary or moved around. When the cups are removed, a temporary mark remains on the skin for a few days to a week that looks like a rather large ‘hickey’.
Cupping can be used for many reasons…pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, deep-tissue massage, arthritis and detoxification. It also works best when combined with acupuncture as they work synergistically very well; especially, due to the endorphins that acupuncture releases to help deal with mental stress. After all, isn’t stress the root of all problems?
Even celebrities such as Michael Phelps, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have used this technique.