Cupping therapy is a safe, non-invasive, comfortable and effective treatment for many health conditions. It is the method of using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum. Public demand for cupping has quadrupled in the last two years, according to the International Cupping Therapy Association (ICTA). Healers have performed this technique since ancient times by using heat inside glass or bamboo cups. Today cupping sets use suction to create the vacuum. The vacuum inside the cups causes the blood to form in a specific area (the stagnant blood flow surfaces) and helps the healing process within that area of the body.
We first became aware of cupping in 2001 through our favorite acupuncturist, a Chinese physician, who was born, raised and educated in China. We are very lucky that he was able to come to America-and remain in America-because after receiving several treatments, we had a new-found appreciation for his medical teachings, techniques and principles. As a wise and seasoned healer, he quickly earned our respect for his vast knowledge and eastern medical practices in general. Clearly, we learned that we have much more to learn about ancient cultures and natural health care. We and our clients/patients continue to benefit from his expertise and his passion for the work and we are grateful for his teachings. We will honor him again soon, in an article, by sharing another ancient treatment. (He will not let us print his name. He is too humble!)
In 1994-1999 our respective schools of therapeutic massage had taught us that meridians were the focus of many ancient healers. Meridians are the pathways in the body through which the energy of life called Qi (“chi”) flows. Qi flows through every body part, tissue and organ. Done mainly on the back where there are five meridians, we strive to open the internal energy flow through the entire body. We perform cupping with a moving cup or one or more stationary cups, depending on the severity or longevity of the patient’s discomfort (acute vs chronic pain) and the location of the affected area.
The major healing aspect of cupping therapy, at least from my perspective, is the release of toxins in the body. The suction action of the cups penetrates deep into the tissues causing the release of harmful substances. The lymphatic system is triggered to clear stagnant blood flow from the vessels and also stretches and activates the skin, our largest body organ, by the way.
~Massage your 93 year old mother-in-law’s feet and she’ll love you forever. – Nancy Shores