In China, cupping is used primarily to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, congestion, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders and certain types of pain. Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach, are the preferred sites for treatment. The arms and legs are done at times, but less often.
In “air” cupping, which is the technique used at Revolution Health Medical Center by our practitioners, the cup is applied to the skin, and a suction pump is attached to the rounded end of the jar. The pump is then used to create the vacuum. The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin.
Drawing up the skin is believed to open up the skin’s pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5 to 10 minutes. Several cups may be placed on a patient’s body at the same time. At times small amounts of medicated oils or herbal oils will be applied to the skin just before the cupping procedure, which lets the practitioner slide the cups up and down.
Cupping can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand. This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, however, and disappear within a few days of treatment.
Discuss cupping with our doctors to determine if it is an option for you.
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