Cupping is a Chinese therapeutic practice in which a specially made glass cup is suctioned to the skin and superficial muscle layers are drawn slightly upward and into the cup. Cupping is often used by acupuncturists on specific acupuncture points, or on certain regions of the body that are affected by pain or disease.
Sometimes, massage oil or Chinese liniments are applied on the skin beforehand, allowing the cup to be moved while it is attached to the skin by the suction. This is referred to as “sliding cups”. When the cups are moved along a muscle area, it is said to break up stagnation in the area caused by inflammation, stagnant blood or a lack of energy flow in the region. This promotes circulation and releases tension in the muscles.
Cupping is highly effective in treating many muscular-skeletal issues where the muscles are in a tight holding pattern that may be hard to release in other ways. Many athletes enjoy the benefits of cupping along with acupuncture to keep their bodies in balance and at optimum performance. Cupping is also extremely useful in stopping the symptoms of an early-stage head or chest colds where it helps to stop fever, release achy muscles, assist the body’s immune response, and quell a cough. It is also effective in treating many other types of lung problems, including bronchitis, flu, and asthma.
Cupping serves to open the airways, release congestion and dispel phlegm when cups are applied on the back over the lungs. Although cupping is historically used for pain syndromes, digestive disorders, respiratory issues, and gynecological disorders, it is also a great stress reduction therapy as it stimulates the relaxation response