What is cupping?
Cupping Therapy is traditionally used in combination with an Acupuncture or Massage treatment. Cupping has been used as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2,500 years.
Cupping brings fresh blood to the local area of the body where the cupping is being used. Cupping improves local and general circulation. Cupping is commonly used in musculoskeletal injuries and stiffness, and to improve common colds and flus.
Cupping can be performed in 2 ways:
1) As a Fixed position – the cup is placed on the body and left in that position for between 5-20 minutes.
2) Mobile Cupping – The cup is placed on the body, after massage oil has been rubbed into the skin and the cup is slid up and down along the skin. Cupping may cause redness to the skin however that is because it is bringing blood flow to the skin and the very reason why it is so effective with reducing pain and improving mobility and the range of movement you have.
At Rebalance Chinese Medicine when treating you with cupping we will use a holistic approach to determine the root cause of your pain and provide the best possible treatment plan. Treatment may include a combination of:
Do cupping marks hurt?
One of the most common questions asked is whether the colour change to the skin caused by cupping hurts. Whilst cupping marks look like circular bruises they are actually known as marking. Cupping marks are not bruises and they do not hurt like them either. Cupping is not painful treatment, in fact it is relaxing and often enjoyable if you are suffering from pain because it helps to relieve your discomfort. If you ever see a cupping point that has turned black, it does not mean that the person is in excruciating pain. It is just an indication that the muscle is tight and blood flow circulation is stagnant or has been restricted to the area.
Cupping marks typically take between 4-10 days to disappear however it may vary for those who have reduced blood flow such as if you are dehydrated or have severe stagnation or cold in your body. Dark coloured cupping marks will usually reduce in severity over 24 hours however may take longer to disappear.
If you receive cupping treatment and the marks stay pink, it doesn’t mean that the treatment hasn’t been effective. It just means that your blood circulation is very good.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cupping is used to diagnose any underlying conditions that may be occuring. In Western medicine, the predominant focus with cupping is on alleviating the pain.