What is cupping therapy?
Chinese cupping therapy has long since been an ancient part of traditional Chinese medicine and involves causing local congestion; it is performed by placing cups onto the skin by way of either heat or suction. Underlying tissue is then drawn under the cups when they are left on the skin for a few minutes and blood stasis will form and this is when healing takes place.
Cupping therapy was taken one-step further as a way in which to open up the meridian channels, the meridian channels are channels through which the life energy can flow freely throughout the body and through all organs and tissues. There are five meridians on the back and if these are properly open then energy is allowed to travel the full length of the body. It is thought that cupping is an excellent way in which to open these channels to ensure the energy can flow freely.
The mechanism of effect of cupping
"Specific mechanisms of acute metabolic tissue change and pressure pain thresholds have been studied with dry cupping. Such studies have demonstrated that while participants received dry cupping, observed increases in blood flow (hyperaemia) occurred. This increased blood flow or vasodilatation does appear to also influence tissue temperature but more importantly, appears to increase capillary endothelial cell repair, accelerated tissue granulation, and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) within the regional treated tissue.
Following cupping participants demonstrated a rise in the lactate/pyruvate ratios which indicated an increase in the anaerobic metabolism of the surrounding tissue.
What this can mean to a patient or athlete, is the potential for a rise of key ischemic (low oxygen) chemical mediators that are involved with promoting cellular/metabolic adaptation, and tissue recovery."
"The real science and application of cupping therapy." by Dr. John Rusin
Benefits of cupping therapy
Cupping is thought to be the best form of deep tissue massage available and is a method which is safe and reliable for most people. Recent research has found that cupping affects the body's tissue up to four inches deep; this causes the tissue to release toxins, clears blockages in the colon, activates the lymphatic system and helps to clear the veins and arteries.