Traditional Chinese Medicine: Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy has been used in China and some African countries for several thousand years. Our acupuncturist Gill is seen here using pressure and fire cupping to help alleviate mid-back and neck stiffness and pain.
The skin is the largest organ in our body, containing fluid, blood, blood vessels, connective tissue, muscle and nerve supplies. Cupping works to manipulate the skin and influence blood and other functions of the body, improving circulation, lymphatic drainage and alleviating muscle tension. It is thought to influence the lymphatic system and lymph nodes that form a vital part of our immune system.
Cupping Therapy: How does it work?
The vacuum created by the cup creates a negative pressure. This creates a gentle suction on the skin which may encourage cells to move towards the cup, and open pores in the skin. When the cup is removed, the skin and cells move back to their original state. The addition of heat helps to accelerate your metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body is using to function), increasing the benefits of the treatment.
1. Physical stimulation of the skin through cupping is thought to increase blood circulation, skin temperature and metabolism in the skin tissues. It may also improve the function of sweat and sebaceous glands (the glands that secrete oils onto the skin).
2. Cupping may stimulate the nerves within our skin and may help to stimulate the central nervous system in the same way acupuncture can, decreasing the release of cortisol (a stress hormone which contributes to a number of conditions).
3. Cupping on muscles is thought to cause the blood vessels in our body to expand, increasing blood flow and lymphatic flow, which can have a powerful effect on chronically tight muscles.
4. Cupping on inflamed joints may again improve function through better flow of blood within the joint, and through influence synovial fluids (which help lubricate our joints).
Frequently asked cupping questions
- Is it safe? Yes- when performed by an experienced, qualified practitioner.
- Does it hurt? No- it just feels like a pulling sensation and may feel slightly warm.
- What about those weird marks? The cups cause the marks on your skin. How long they last depends on how strong the suction was.
- Does it damage the skin? No- as blood flow to the skin increases, it causes the redness to occur.
- How long does a session take? Sessions can take from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on your treatment requirements.
This patient is co-managed by Gill and our chiropractor Philippa, so after the muscles in his back have been relaxed using the cupping therapy, Philippa delivers a gentle adjustment to the mid-thoracic spine to get a restricted joint moving properly. This two-practitioner-approach allows our patients to really maximise the benefit of their treatment with us. This demonstrates how so many of the health services we have available to you can complement each other.
If you’d like to book an appointment with our acupuncturist to receive cupping therapy, please call us on 01243 379693.
acupuncture, Acupuncture Emsworth, Acupuncture Havant, Acupuncturist, Acupuncturist Emsworth, Acupuncturist near me, Back pain relief, Chinese acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Complementary Healthcare, Cupping, Cupping Therapy, Cupping Therapy Emsworth, emsworth, Gillian Lebbon, Neck pain relief, TCM