Cupping therapy is an alternative remedy that is gaining increasing amounts of notoriety across the world over the course of the last decade. Its popularity has increased manifold as athletes who take their recovery routines very seriously- such as olympic athletes, NBA players and NFL players- have confirmed that using cupping therapy regularly and that it has had a positive impact on their physical conditioning. The treatment has been around for thousands of years, with evidence of its use being found in ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle-Eastern cultures.
Cupping treatments involve warming and placing cups (usually made of glass) on the surface of the skin. By warming the air within the cup, suction is created, drawing the tissue placed against the cup into the cup. This stimulates the blood flow to the area while loosening the connective tissue, which in turn stimulates healing and muscle recovery. The principle behind it is considered to be very similar to how deep tissue massages are used to break up scar tissue and reduce pain in specific areas of the body.
Cupping tends to “leave a mark”, causing temporary bruising and soreness. The severity of the bruising and soreness is dependent on the level of suction created and the condition of the tissue that is being treated. It is advisable to clearly stipulate how much suction you are comfortable with before you commence, and err on the side of caution during your first few treatments. Proponents of cupping therapy consider the bruising and soreness to be a positive sign, as it indicates the removal of toxins and lessening of internal stagnation.
Cupping can even be performed on the face, using facial cups that tend to be softer and smaller. These cups are used to stimulate blood flow to the face (thus rejuvenating the skin) without leaving any cupping marks. The cups are usually left for a set period of time (between 5 to 10 minutes) on the skin once the suction has been created. The size, shape and colour of the cupping marks (using a constant level of suction over time) are used as an indicator as to the level of cellular waste buildup. The cupping marks fade gradually as the lymphatic system drains the toxins from the body. At LANA OncoSpa, our therapists are trained in special cupping techniques as part of our signature anti-aging facials.
What are the benefits?
Cupping has several benefits, the main ones being:
- Increased Blood Flow: Cupping increases the blood flow to the concerned area, which in turn relieves muscle tension and promotes cell repair, leaving your muscles feeling far better in the long run.
- Detoxification: Cupping helps remove the toxins from the body by bringing them to the surface, which then allows the lymphatic system to drain them in due course with minimal stimulation.
- Relaxation: Cupping helps engage your parasympathetic nervous system, thus promoting relaxation throughout the body
- Cellulite: Cupping helps break down cellulite in the area being treated, thus providing smoother skin and a more chiselled appearance.
- Anti-Aging: Cupping helps rejuvenate the skin, thus reducing the effects of aging and provides healthier, younger-looking skin.
Cupping is fairly safe, but you could have these side effects in the general area where the cups touch your skin. These side effects include:
- Mild discomfort
It should be noted that cupping is not recommended for certain age groups:
- Children under 4 years old shouldn’t receive cupping therapy. Older children should only be treated for very short periods.
- Seniors. Our skin becomes more fragile as we age. Any medication you may be taking might have an effect as well.
- Pregnant people. Avoid cupping the abdomen and lower back.
- Those who are currently taking cancer treatments.
- Don’t use cupping if you use blood thinning medication. Also avoid cupping if you have:
- Skin wound
- Skin ulcer
- Experienced recent trauma
- Internal organ disorders
NOTE- LANA provides Cupping as a complementary therapy, not a treatment for cancer. Please consult your physician regarding your medical treatment.