Cupping Therapy, Is It Right the Treatment for You?
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine where in a massage therapist places specially designed cups on your skin for a few minutes at a time in order to create suction. The purpose of doing so is to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and over all well being. It is also a type of deep-tissue massage. Cups are generally made of one of the following; glass, bamboo, earthenware or silicone.
While cupping therapy has risen in popularity over the last few years, its origins go back as far as ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. The Ebers Papyrus one of the oldest medical texts known to mankind describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1550 B.C. So even so it might seem like a new form of alternative medicine, it is actually quite ancient has been in use for thousands of years, which speaks of its effectiveness as a form of massage therapy.
There are two different kinds of the cupping: Dry and Wet. During both types of cupping, a massage therapist will put a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper in a cup set it on fire. As the fire dies down, they place the cup upside down on your skin. As the air in the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels begin to expand. The cup is generally left in place for up to three minutes.
A more modernized version of this is done with a rubber pump instead of fire to create the vacuum. Sometimes a therapist might use silicone cups, which can easily be moved from place to place on your skin for an effect similar to a massage.