From a western perspective, the cups are generally used to move toxins, and improve blood and lymph flow, which can reduce swelling and help in the healing of injuries and various infections or diseases.
Basically, when our liver and kidneys are overloaded (much of the time unfortunately), our body stores these undigested toxins in our muscles and connective tissues. The cups draw these toxins out of the deep tissues and into the skin. Some of these toxins are released through the skin, and others transported back to the liver where they can be metabolised and eliminated.
In Chinese medicine, the cups are used on specific acupressure points and meridians. A thorough diagnosis will reveal the unique balance of your system and a treatment will be designed to mobilise areas of stagnation.
In the clinic here I generally integrate cupping therapy with bodywork and adapt the sessions to meet your individual needs. Often this ends up being a combination of injury specific therapy, and the holistic Chinese medicine approach that aims to address the root cause of the imbalance.
Benefits of Cupping
- Balance your energetic system
- Support the lymphatic system
- Stress reduction – calms the nervous system
- Loosen and repair muscles, tendons and ligaments
- Help to relieve menstrual pain
The sensation is really unique. There is a feeling of your skin and upper tissue layers being pulled, which can feel quite strange at first. But generally after the first couple of minutes, you start to feel very relaxed and the sensation becomes enjoyable.
Depending on your needs, the therapist may slide the cups or leave them stationary. Before any sliding, your skin will be prepared with oil to prevent any skin burn. Where stationary cups are used is it usual for them to remain on your skin for around 10-15 minutes.