What is cupping? Why are so many people talking about cupping? Why are so many athletes showing up to events with red circles on them? Cupping has actually been around for many years. I believe it is the best kept secret among celebs, and athletes. I myself just had cupping done today!
Cupping is a form of acupuncture from traditional Chinese medicine. The theory is that cupping can influence the flow of energy, or “qi” through the body. Cupping is done to get rid of the toxins which can accumulate in our bodies. Sources of toxins include foods, pollution, stress, drugs, and chemicals. These toxins slow down our blood which slows down the amount of things like oxygen, nutrients, vitamins and antibodies being delivered throughout the body. Cupping is used in China to primarily treat conditions such as: bronchitis, asthma and congestion, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain types of pain. Cupping is done on fleshy sites on the body such as the back, stomach, arms and legs.
There are several types of cupping. The most common forms of cupping are air cupping, fire cupping, and wet cupping. Fire cupping consists of a glass cup that is warmed up by burning an alcohol-soaked cotton ball inside of it. This removes the oxygen in the cup, which creates a vacuum. The cup is turned upside down and placed on the area that is pained. The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup in place and draws the skin into the cup. As the skin is drawn into the cup, blood vessels on the skin’s surface expand. The cups are left in place for 5-10 min. Air cupping uses a suction pump to draw oxygen out of the cup instead of fire.
My experience with cupping was amazing. I personally have been getting acupuncture for years to aide with my anxiety among other issues. Gali Riddle (acupuncturist) has a way of making you feel extremely comfortable no matter what issue you present to her. She is very personable and in my opinion puts your mind at ease as soon as you are in her presence. She begins with a consultation, gathering as much information as possible on the reason for the visit. I enjoyed her explaining in depth what exactly will happen during the process, and what to expect afterwards. She has you fill out a quick questionnaire and learns about what exactly brings you into the office. Her office has a very relaxing, and positive energy. Then she brings you into a tranquil treatment room, where you change and lay on a comfortable table. She determines which technique to use. (either fire or air cupping) and begins the treatment.
I had the Fire Cupping done. She puts alcohol on a cotton swab, lighting it on fire, places it into the cup and puts it on the area. During the entire treatment she asks your comfort level. She has the ability to lessen the suction and slide the cups if needed. The suction of the cups did not hurt at all. I thought maybe I would feel a burning sensation but I did not. It literally feels like a vacuum on your skin. After the treatment, Gali puts oil on your skin. The treated areas have to stay covered up for at least 24-48 hours to prevent any toxins from entering the body. The treatment for me was a success and I got immediate relief from the tight feeling I typically live with.