Cupping
Nerang, Gold Coast

What Is Cupping?

In cupping therapy, suction is created on the patient’s skin using special cups that are placed on various parts of their body. These cups can be heated or have pumps in order to create the vacuum effect.

Made from glass, bamboo, earthenware, or silicone, cups are placed upside down on a patient’s skin after a flammable substance like alcohol or herbs inside them have been set ablaze and put out. The cooled air creates a vacuum that lifts and reddens the patient’s skin as blood vessels expand. The cup usually stays in place for three minutes.

A form of cupping called wet cupping uses mild suction. Here, the therapist removes the cups and makes tiny cuts on the patient’s skin before creating another suction that draws out a small quantity of blood. This is believed to help remove harmful substances and toxins from the body.

Cupping, a therapy that is gaining more attention in recent years, actually dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures including those of Egypt, China, and the Middle East. The Ebers Papyrus, one of the world’s oldest medical textbooks explains how cupping was used by ancient Egyptians in 1550 BC.

What is Cupping used for?

People use cupping for various reasons, such as neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain, hamstring strains, calf or groin strains, corks, bruises and general sports injuries. Cupping can also be used to relieve tightness in the chest and ribcage area as well as help with asthma symptoms.

Cupping is also sometimes used as a preventative measure in Chinese medicine. It is said to help improve blood circulation and promote relaxation. Cupping is also used as a treatment for colds, the flu, and bronchitis.

What Does the Research Say About Cupping?

Although there is not extensive scientific research yet on cupping, a few studies have been conducted. These studies suggest that cupping can help with acne, herpes zoster, and pain management.

A study performed by researchers from Australia and China suggests that cupping may be beneficial when used in combination with other treatments, such as acupuncture or medications.

Possible Side Effects of Cupping

Although cupping is safe when received from a trained professional, there may be some side effects where the cups touch your skin. These could include mild discomfort, burns, bruises, or skin infection.

It’s always beneficial to ask about a therapist’s training and experiences with cupping before you receive therapy yourself. You should also inquire if there are any reasons why you shouldn’t receive it based on your individual health situation.

What To Expect At Your First Appointment

Your Nerang Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner will assess your condition and make a diagnosis based on TCM principles. This process involves understanding your medical history, family medical history, lifestyle, diet, medications and supplements as these give insight into overall health.

After examining your tongue and taking your pulses, your Nerang TCM practitioner will make a diagnosis and will determine the best approach to treatment, which can involve cupping, but that may also include other methods like acupuncture, shiatsu massage or moxibustion.