Cupping is a type of treatment method in Chinese Medicine. We put special cups on the patient’s skin for a certain amount of time to create suction. It helps with pain, inflammation, cold symptoms, blood flow, relaxation and well-being. It can also be used as a form of deep-tissue massage.
The cups are made of different types of materials, they can be glass, bamboo, plastic, earthenware, silicone, ceramic, etc.
According to webmd.com, “Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.”
We use cupping in our clinic frequently on stubborn pain issues that are related to blood stagnation. This type of pain is usually sharp, like a knife, and is constant, it doesn’t move around or change according to time, weather and/or posture.
During the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, the purple circles on Michael Phelps’s back caught the world’s attention. Those marks turned out be cupping marks. For a detailed report, you can check this article from cbsnews.
Interestingly, we treated a world champion in our clinic back in Feb 2015. She is a professional athlete from China competing in modern pentathlons. She attended the 2016 Olympics as well and ended up ranking number 4 at the final competition. For more on this story check out our blog.