Cupping Therapy: An Ancient Technique Renewed

Practiced by many cultures around the world, cupping therapy is the process of relieving tension in the body using heated cups!

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Episode Notes

What is Cupping Therapy?

Originating in China, Cupping uses negative pressure to separate skin from the muscle, pulling toxins deep within the system to the surface to make it easier for the lymphatic system to eliminate. As your skin is vacuumed into a cup it will rise and redden as the blood vessels expand. 

I personally love to use cupping in my practice because it allows me to get more work done. If I come across particularly stubborn tissue, I can place a cup over it to do the work for me, and this allows me to continue to other areas.

The 2 Methods of Cupping

Dry Cupping is the most common and regularly practiced method in the United States. Here, cups are put in strategic places and left on the body for 15-20 minutes. 

Wet Cupping consists of placing a cup on the skin for 3-5 minutes, then removing the cup and breaking the skin with a needle or small scalpel and placing the cup back to draw out a small amount of blood. This method is extremely rare in the United States.

The 3 Different Types of Cups 

Kangzhu: These are hard plastic cups that are placed on the body and an pump air is used to remove the air from the top creating the suction

Banguafa: These are soft silicone cups that can be moved or placed painlessly over bony protuberances and are applied to the body by pushing down into the body deflating the cup, with an area for the air to escape. Once the desired deflation occurs the cup is dropped onto the skin.

Fire: A cotton ball soaked with denatured alcohol (a flammable cleaning burning liquid) are held with a hemostat, and lit on fire. The fire is held within a glass cup for 3-5 seconds and placed onto the body. The amount of time the fire is held in the cup and how fast the cup is applied to the body will determine the intensity of suction and pressure. I call this method the hot stones of the cupping world as the heat penetrates deep into the muscle causing relaxation.

Next time you get a massage, make sure to explore cupping and all of its benefits. 

-Jamie Blazquez

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