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Types of Cupping Therapy: An Overview

Your health is the most precious thing you have. All the titles, money, real estate, cars, toys, and toys don’t matter if you don’t have your health. Given the fact that we’re living in such tumultuous times that are centered on health and wellness, and there is a lot of speculation surrounding the prevention and treatment related to health ailments (and the response that has completely turned the entire world upside-down), you may be looking to take your health care back into your own hands. You aren’t alone; billions of people around the planet are breaking free from what has long been regarded as “conventional” medicine in the Western world and are seeking more natural, holistic prevention and treatment methods for a variety of ailments. 

Cupping therapy is one of the oldest forms of natural treatment. It’s been practiced for centuries as a way to treat and prevent a variety of maladies, such as anxiety, depression, pain relief, and immune system support. What is cupping therapy? Read on to find out a brief history of this ancient natural health practice, including how it works, the different types of cupping therapy, and the benefits it provides. 

What is cupping therapy? 

Cupping is an ancient form of therapy that has been practiced for centuries. It’s believed that cupping therapy originated in China, and it was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a way to treat a long list of ailments, including pain, vertigo, appetite suppression, and more. References to cupping therapy were found in the oldest medical textbook, the Papyrus, and Hippocrates, the so-called “Father of Modern Medicine” was a strong advocate of cupping therapy, and it is said that he claimed it was an effective remedy for virtually every kind of disease. 

Though cupping therapy has been practiced for centuries, it’s only began going mainstream recently. During the 2016 Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps showed up to his meets with reddish-purple marks on his back and shoulders that were in the shape of perfect circles, and it was then that people really started paying attention to and talking about cupping therapy. Celebrities, like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Denise Richards, and Victoria Beckham further popularized the therapy, and now, it’s really gone mainstream and everyone from athletes to gym-goers to those who are just looking for natural alternative treatment methods are practicing and touting the benefits of this type of therapy. 

What are the benefits of cupping therapy? 

The benefits of cupping therapy are wide-ranging. As noted, Hippocrates claimed that it could be used to treat virtually every type of ailment. While scientific evidence isn’t solid, there are studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, that cite the benefits that cupping therapy provides. 

Some of the different types of conditions that cupping massage is used to treat include: 

  • Herniated discs 
  • Chronic back pain 
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Chronic shoulder pain
  • Acute, short-term injury pain
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema and acne
  • Lung diseases and disorders, including asthma, bronchitis, COPD, and chronic coughs
  • Facial paralysis caused by Bell’s palsy and stroke
  • Migraines and chronic headaches

The various benefits of cupping therapy are said to include the following: 

  • Increased blood circulation
  • Faster pain relief
  • Detoxification 
  • Improved skin health
  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation 
  • Mood enhancement
  • Improved sleep

These are just a few of the benefits and reasons why so many people swear by cupping therapy. 

Types of cupping therapy and how it works

While there are several forms of cupping, all types involve placing glass, ceramic, or bamboo cups at strategic points on the skin to create a suction effect that draws the skin and underlying muscles and connective tissues up into the cups. This effect releases toxins that get trapped in the muscles and the tissues, improves circulation, and helps to alleviate pain and promote relaxation. 

There are several different types of approaches to cupping. Examples include: 

  • Fixed cupping. With this process, a flammable substance, such as essential oil, is placed inside the cups, ignited, and extinguished. The cups are then placed on the skin, and as they cool, a suction Is created that pulls the skin and fascia up into them. It’s called “fixed cupping” because the cups are left in place at the specific location throughout the duration of the treatment, allowing the connective tissue to fully stretch into the cups. It’s commonly used to relieve pain and tension. The strength of suction varies and can include weak, medium, and strong, and depends on each individual and their needs. 
  • Sliding cups. This method is similar to the fixed cup approach in that the cups are prepared and applied in the same method; however, instead of keeping the cups in a single location throughout the duration of the treatment, the therapist will slide them across the area, similar to a massage effect, which releases congestion in a broader area. 

  • Flash cupping. This involves a rapid, repeated application of cups with minimal retention on the skin. It is used to reduce congestion in a local area and to stimulate circulation throughout the  broader area without being too powerful. 
  • Hijama cupping. Also known as “wet cupping”, this method involves piercing the skin before the cups are applied. As the skin is drawn up into the cups, blood follows and collects within them. It’s said that this process eliminates static blood and toxins that have become trapped in the body, and the suction speeds up the rate of the process. 

Which cupping should you choose? 

The type of cupping that you should choose really depends on your specific needs, including the issues that you want to treat or prevent, as well as your ultimate objectives, and your tolerance for pain. Consult with a therapist that specializes in cupping therapy and explain your situation and what you want to achieve. The therapist will recommend the most effective method that will help to yield the results that you desire. 

Looking for Cupping Massage Near Me? 

If you’re looking for a spa that offers cupping massage in your local area, get in touch with us today! Our professionally trained, licensed therapists are experts in cupping therapy and will be delighted to guide you on your journey to natural health and wellness.