Sunday, 16 July 2017

Cupping 101 | What It Is | How it Works | Is It Right for You?

Cupping therapy

Cupping 101 | What It Is | How it Works | Is It Right for You?

Cupping. It’s been all over the news recently, ever since several Olympic athletes (most notably, Michael Phelps) were shown sporting dark circles all over their arms, backs, and shoulders. So what is this supposed remedy, and most importantly, does it even really work?

A Brief History of Cupping

Cupping is trendy now, but it’s not new. It’s really quite old-ancient, in fact. Cupping refers to an ancient Chinese practice that has its earliest “official” roots set in the lifetime of a famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong (281-341 A.D.), who has the most well-known recorded mention of it. The method back then was a bit different-it used animal horns (not cups) to drain pus and blood from boils. For the Chinese, it became a method to dispel “stagnation” below the skin, such as stagnant blood and lymph, and improving the flow of energy throughout the body. In this sense, it is much like acupuncture.

It should be noted that some researchers believe that it dates back even further than its use in Asian cultures, all the way to ancient Egyptians using it in 3,000 BC. Still others think the ancient Greek’s were the first to use it.

When all is said and done, regardless of who used it first, cupping is an ancient healing remedy that took-like many old rememdies- some popular culture to bring it back to life.

What is Cupping?

The term cupping therapy actually refers to a number of different techniques, but they all share one common theme, and that is that a vacuum, or suction, (also known as “negative pressure”) is created inside of a cup pressed on the skin. It is different from massage in that, rather than the muscles being pressed down, they are pulled up.

Different methods of cupping use different materials, sizes, and types of cups. For example, some cups are bell shaped, others round, some are glass, others plastic, and so on.