An Introduction to Cupping Therapy

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Ever wondered why some people have some strange marks on their back? Even during the recent Olympics, some people were surprised to see some round red things on the backs of well-known athletes. Well, I was also curious in the beginning so I began to read about it. Some questions crossed my mind like, will this improve my health? will this help remove my body aches? and so forth.

I learned that these were from undergoing cupping therapy, a traditional Chinese practice where suction is used to get rid of toxins. It is a form of deep tissue massage, which is great for those who are very active or have a lot of stiffness on their backs due to heavy lifting or stress. As an athlete myself, I became interested enough to see how it can benefit me. 

To try it out, I made an appointment at a cupping therapy clinic in Geelong. To prepare myself for the visit, I oriented myself on this practice to know what to expect. First of all, why do you end up with those marks on your back? I learned that this is because glasses create a partial vacuum through using heat or suction. The cup is left for a few minutes, so blood stasis forms and leaves the red round spots. Although it might look painful, it actually promotes healing in the area.

How do I benefit from this therapy? 

  1. Help Deal with Pain

The most common symptom that brings us to the massage clinic or other similar therapies is back pain. One of the causes of that throbbing in your back is the restriction of fascia or connective tissue. These tissues coat, connect and support muscles, bone, skin, tendons, and organs. They also work to reduce vibration within the muscles and other soft tissues when in motion. It becomes tight when it gets stuck to the muscle above or below it. It can then reduce the blood supply to your muscle. Because it is unlike muscle, the use of massage or trigger point therapy has little effect on restricted fascia. On the other hand, cupping can reduce aching and make it more flexible again. 

  1. Improve the Flow of Energy in the Body

Cupping therapy is a way to open your body’s “meridians”, which are conduits in the body. This is where energy flows to the different organs and tissue of the body. On our backs, there are 5 of these meridians. When they are opened, they allow invigorating energy to be able to travel all over your body. 

  1. Release Toxins

It has been discovered that cupping can affect your body for up to 4 inches, reaching tissues. This can activate the lymphatic system and the release of toxins. At the same time, blockages in your colon are cleared, as well as your veins and arteries. 

Your skin benefits as well because cupping activates it, clearing any stretch marks and even improve your varicose veins. In fact, your skin temperature will also rise and promote metabolism to improve sweat function.

  1. Promoting Blood Flow

As cupping drains stagnant blood, as well as toxins and lymph, fresh blood and nutrients flow to these tissues. 

  1. Treat Various Conditions

There are a few diseases or symptoms that can be improved by going for a session. This can include colds and lung infections. Even problems with internal organs are addressed, because of the better blood flow and the release of toxins.

  1. Increase Range of Movement

Because it addresses tightness of tissue, you can improve on your flexibility. At the same time, cupping activates muscle spindle reflexes which will relax contracted tissues. Even synovial fluids are secreted that will relieve the stiffness in the joints. In all, you will be able to move easier and better, and without any pain.

  1. Other Advantages

Cupping has also been said to reduce cellulite in the body.

These benefits are supported by results of various researches, proving the effectiveness of cupping therapy. Realizing these benefits made me surprised and excited to go through my first experience.

What to expect?

Your session will actually be comprised of massage and cupping. The suction itself can vary depending on the area of the body where you had the cupping and what symptoms you have. Redder marks can be said to happen when there is more tightness in the muscles or fascia. The massage and the suction will produce both stimulating and sedating effects in the skin where you had the treatment.

After my treatment, I felt much better, with less feeling of tightness on my back and usual parts of my body that are stiff after practicing my sport. In fact, I had just joined the millions of people who have, over centuries, experienced relief after a session of cupping. Its continued popularity and the many fans out there, like me, are a testament to its advantages. So if you are looking for experiencing some pain and want to find a way to feel better, go and try out this therapy!

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