For more than two thousand years ago, cupping therapy was used by the Chinese. Basically, it is related to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, which was believed to relieve the body and boost the energy level.
Cups for Cupping Therapy
This type of traditional Chinese medicine therapy got its name due to the procedure of the treatment involved. It entails the use of surgical tools to scrape the skin, as cups are used to suck up the skin.
It has been believed over the years that the procedure tends to relax the body and boost a free flow of blood in the body.
What Is Cupping Therapy?
This is a form of medication, which entails the placing of cups on the skin of a patient. The cups will then form suctions. When the cups suck in the skin, they will mobilize the flow of blood, which enhances the healing of a number of medical conditions. The cups that are used for the medication can be made from different materials. The most common materials used in the cups are bamboo, glass, and earthenware, where our TCM clinic in Sydney mainly uses glass for cupping treatment.
Types Of Cupping Therapy
Basically, there are two types of Cupping therapy:
- Dry Cupping. Basically, here it is only about the suctioning, with nothing else included.
- Wet Cupping. This type of cupping involves suctioning as well as a measured medicinal bleeding. The wet cupping is used to get rid of toxins and other harmful substances, in order to enhance healing.
Skills involved in cupping therapy include retaining cupping, movable Cupping, successive flash cupping, blood-letting puncturing and cupping, retaining needle and cupping.
How Cupping Therapy Works
Before starting the cupping process, a flammable element, like herbs, paper or alcohol will be placed in the cups to be used, then it would be set on fire and left to run out. When the fire is running out, it will then be placed upside down on the skin of the patient.
Since the cup will still be hot, it will be left to cool as it still sucks on the skin. When the air in the cup is cooling down, a vacuum will be created. As a result, the skin will rise and it will also turn red and the blood vessels will expand in the process. The suctioned cup will then be left on the skin for around 10 minutes or a longer period of 10 to 20 mins depends on different situations, then it would be removed. Silicone cups are also used by some practitioners in this therapy. The silicone cups are versatile, since they can be used on different areas on the skin. It will be then causing the patient to have the massage feeling.
When using the wet cupping, a slight suction will be created using the cup, then it would be left on the skin for approximately 3 minutes. The doctor would then take out the cup and use a tiny scalpel to create shallow incisions on the skin. After the incisions, the doctor would then carry out a second suction, which will suck out some small amount of blood. When the cupping is completed, an antibiotic ointment would then be applied on the areas that were cut. Then a bandage would be used to cover the areas from infections.
The appearance of the skin will return to normal in less than 10 days. So a patient should not freak out if the skin appearance still has the red spots after the procedure.
What Diseases Are Treated By The Therapy?
Earlier on, researchers did a study and resolved that the cupping therapy delivers more than just a placebo outcome. A placebo treatment is basically a fake kind of treatment that doesn’t really treat a condition. But as the researchers did their study, they came to a conclusion that the therapy may work effectively if it is combined with some other forms of treatment.
If used with the ideal treatment, it can help to treat Cervical spondylosis, Facial paralysis, Acne, Herpes zoster, etc.
Health Benefits of The Therapy
The cupping therapy is very beneficial in the body, e.g. clear the meridians , qi and blood circulation , swelling and pain , expel wind and cold , detoxification. It heals the following conditions:
- Depression and anxiety
- Neurasthenia , insomnia caused by migraine or any type of headache
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Rheumatic conditions like fibromyalgia, a syndrome that affects the soft tissues and the muscles
- Cough, bronchial congestion that are brought about by asthma or allergies
- Joint and muscle sprains, frozen shoulder , gout
- Stomach pain, abdominal pain, dysmenorrhea, stroke.
Also, the therapy can limit the inflammation and overall pain in the body. As a result, it will help to enhance the physical and mental relaxation. That will naturally boost the well-being of the patient.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like any other medical procedure, this treatment has some side effects. Nevertheless, it is considered as a medical alternative that is safe to the body. However, it will only be safe when carried out by a qualified health specialist. Some of the side effects include the following:
- Slight discomfort, and
- Infection of the skin
These are the most probable side effects, but they should not be a concern since the symptoms are all short term.
What Should You Take Note
Doctors advice that the procedure should not be carried out to some patients, due to the risk of possible critical condition after the treatment. Some of the people who might not be the best fit for this kind of treatment include the following;
- Menstruating or pregnant women
- Anyone who has metastatic cancer. This is the type of cancer that has shifted from a certain body part to another
- Anyone who suffers from muscles spasm or bone fractures
- Anyone who suffers from hemophilia
Other than patient with specific conditions, the cupping therapy is not supposed to be applied on parts of the body that has an artery, an ulcer, a feel-able pulse, or a deep vein thrombosis. If the procedure is applied on areas with these vessels and conditions, then a severe condition might follow.
Since the cupping therapy pulls blood nearer to the skin, it is therefore risky to apply it on any condition that will steer bleeding. That is why it is discouraged on people who are vulnerable to excess bleeding or areas that will experience bleeding easily. All in all, it is a very safe and relaxing procedure that can help the body in many ways.
To be on the safe side, always consult a certified Chinese medicine practitioner if you intend to undergo cupping treatment. At Live Well Clinic, our key practitioner, Master Wang is the best person you can consult in Sydney.