Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How does Cupping work? TCM

Typically, an acupuncture tactic and one of the oldest methods of TCM dating back to the fourth century BC! People would use everything they could find from animal horns, to bamboo cups and homemade pottery which lead us to the cups of today made from thick plastic, glass and silicone! The massage therapist will probably be using the air cupping technique style rather than glass which requires heat (*usually a flaming alcohol soaked cotton ball...) which is not convered by your insurance.

During cupping... what happens?
                           The skin under the surface of the cup /affected area can cause some swelling and bruising of the skin that are pretty much painless but take a few days to dissipate. This happens because of the bloodvessels at the surface of the skin expanding and moving stagnant energy and blood. The more often the cupping is done to an area the less dark these 'bruise' spots will appear. The darker they are the more stagnation. Cups can help to stop a cold from penetrating the system and enables blood and energy to move again to travel to an area beginning the healing process!!!

HOW to perform cupping?
An air pump is applied to the prospect cup and THEN applied to the clients body (usually a trouble spot or pressure point/meridian energy pathway.)
To pump, apply cup with pump attached to area and give 1-1&1/2 pumps without more than two and 1/2 pumps;that is the usual vaccuum suction for most people to recieve comfortable cupping. Oil (of the carrier oil variety) is sparsley used to provide some slip in cupping as to not pinch the reciever ESPECIALLY if you are planning on doing a sliding cup technique. Sliding cups are beneficial for drawing out and bringing energy down a particular meridian. You are not only opening up the energy channel, but drawing out through the pathway. When the skin is drawn up the blood flow will increase and it is believed that toxins and other substances are being drawn up and out of the body to be metabolized out by the skin and other systems. It also loosens hard connective tissues making it easier to manipulate.

What happens after?
A cupping procedure usually would happen at the end of a massage treatment I wouldn't do too much stimulation over the area right after treatment. It is contraindicated to do cupping over the same area multiple times until the previous cupping marks are released from the body, visibly. Any other form of invasive body work such as Gua Sha is not recommended immediately after. If using essential oils in treatment a spray would be advised over a direct application so as to not 'muck down' the toxins being released and allow the area to breathe; a spritz would do the same benefit while allowing area to breathe. Keep doing cupping as needed and be amazed at the results ... the problem areas will slowly get less and less inflamed! WOW cupping is amazing!

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