Currently, in the United States, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t ever heard of “acupuncture”. Most people even have an idea of what it is beneficial for. But- cupping? That is a new one! So- what is cupping and why would someone want to receive this strange-looking therapy?
Here’s the scoop. When muscle tissue gets contracted, it loses its capacity to absorb fresh blood and nutrients. And, when there is a reduction in blood flow, the muscle itself becomes more contracted. This creates a perpetual cycle in which the muscle tissue continues to stay “tight”. With this tightness is a propensity for pain, stiffness, and improper alignment.
Cupping can offer a re-set. How? Well, cups work via suction. The acupuncturist performing the cupping will put a small flame into the cup, pull it out, and put the cup onto the body. The cup then creates a suction that pulls all the stagnant blood to the body’s surface. Often, a dark red, purple, or blotchy discoloration occurs. This coloring appears like a bruise, but is painless and a sign of healing muscle tissue. By pulling the old, stagnant blood out of the muscle body, the muscle is encouraged to “inhale”, bringing in fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients. The muscle tissue thus relaxes, and the pain and tightness dissolve.
Healthy muscle tissue is spongy, absorbent, and elastic. Cupping is a therapy that reminds the muscles of this function. And- it generally feels really good! The cups are left on for 3-5 minutes, and your practitioner will stay by your side the whole time. If any cups start to feel uncomfortable, they will be popped right off, and the effects have the potential to last indefinitely.
So- if you have any regions of the body in which you have chronic tightness, soreness, or tension, you are a great candidate for cupping.
For more on cupping- check out the following links-
Lena Dunham- Celebrities and Cupping