What is cupping? 

The cups made of thick glass or plastic are commonly utilized in the United States while other materials such as bamboo, iron or pottery are also used in the other countries.  Acupuncturists apply the cups over a specific area on the acupuncture points and along the meridians.  The cups remove all the oxygen either by flame to heat or a suction pump and create a vacuum and in some cases, they puncture with a needle before applying the cups to draw a small amount of blood.  Acupuncturists alternate the methods depending on the conditions.   

The cupping is used to treat pain and aches as well as varieties of internal conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, congestion, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, depression and to reduce swelling. 

What does it do?

1. Clean the blood and improve the circulation

2. Eliminate the toxins and waste products

3. Strengthen the blood vessel and other organs

4. Activate the organs functions and rejuvenate the skin

5. Regulate the nerve functions

1. Clean the blood and improve the circulation

The most important function of the cupping is to clean the blood and to improve the circulation.  As blood takes an essential role in maintaining our health, to keep the blood clean and circulate smoothly is very important.

2. Detoxifying

We occasionally find slimy secretion and very bad odor when removing the cups from the body.  This is because the cupping will bring the accumulated toxin to the skin surface and eliminate out of the body.  The most waste products will be eliminated through urine but some come out from skin with sweat and sebum (oily substance produced by glands in the skin).  The cupping will enhance this elimination process.

3. Blood vessel cleaner

The blood vessel is expanded so the amount and speed of blood flow will increase upon cupping treatment.  It improves the circulation and wash out the cholesterol stuck to the wall of blood vessel.  You have so called “blood stagnation” on the area you have pain such as shoulder and back.  Blood stagnation is believed to be the cause for thousands of diseases in the eastern medicine.  The accumulated waste products such as lactic acid in the certain area also cause pain.  The cupping will draw the stagnated blood and waste products to the surface area and eliminate out of the body.

4. Synergic effects

Improving the blood circulation, cleaning the blood and blood vessel will eventually activate all other organs in the body.  It will increase peristalsis in the digestive tract and secrete more digestive fluid.  As a result, it will help the constipation.  When you have cold or flu, it will lead to fast recovery of the respiratory system by dispersing the heat from the lungs and calming the cough and phlegm.  Your skin will be rejuvenated once the circulation is improved in blood, lymph and Qi.

5. Stress reliever 

The cupping will frequently be applied along the spine.  The nerves from the spine are connected to each organ.  The cupping will stimulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and regulate the hypersensitive autonomic nerves during the stressful time.  Every disease originates from stress and gets worse with stress.  The cupping will help you get relaxed and fight over the stress.   

Is cupping safe?  Does it hurt?

While the cupping is considered a relatively safe treatment, it can cause some temporary swelling and bruising on the skin.  As the cupping creates a vacuum, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin are expanded and the stagnated blood and toxin will be gathered to the surface of the skin.  This may result in circular bruises but these bruises are usually painless and last only for a few days.