Cupping

 

We have all seen the videos of Olympic athletes, movie stars and other personalities with the infamous round red circles or purple bruises now synonymous with cupping.   There are many different techniques of cupping in Traditional Chinese Medicine, although cupping is not always the most appropriate method of treatment.

In my practice, I only use glass cups, which allows me to have complete control over the amount of suction and the strength of the treatment.  This cannot be achieved with the plastic suction cups quite often used by chiropractors and physical therapists.

The method of action is thus:  an alcohol-soaked cotton ball (attached to a pliers-like tool) is lit with a lighter.  The cotton ball is quickly spun in the glass cup, which sucks up the oxygen in the cup.  The cup is rapidly placed on the affected area of the body.  Depending on the pathology or condition being treated, I can control the volume of the suction for both comfort and efficacy of treatment.

I determine which of the different methods of cupping to incorporate into treatment based upon the patient’s condition and reason for treatment.

Used in both in TCM and European Cultures for Hundreds of Years

Cupping has been used not only in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for approximately 3,000 years but throughout European cultures for hundreds of years.  Did any of you have a grandmother who, when you had a fever or chills, cupped your back with an empty glass or small jelly jar to expel the pathogens and drive the fever down?

A practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine is an expert with the different methods of cupping.  When used in conjunction with acupuncture and other modalities, this is a very effective way of treating not only sports injuries,  but arthritic conditions and general muscle pain. Furthermore, it can also help eliminate toxins and pathogens from the body, expel fever and reduce the appearance of cellulite.