The Chinese were ahead of the game when it comes to medicine. There
Acupuncture, Tui Na, Moxibustion, all of these treatments which have become very popular nowadays all originated in ancient China.
And something else from that time period which is absolutely sky-rocketing in popularity right now is the art of cupping.
How this works seems a little scary on the surface, but it really doesn’t hurt all that much if it’s done right by a professional.
The therapist administering the treatment will put a flammable surface into a cup and then set it on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup will be placed on your skin.
The heat will then create a vacuum and cause your skin to rise and all of the blood vessels to expand.
The cup will be left in place for a number of minutes. It’s a very unusual way to treat your body, but it has a number of benefits.
Here’s five reasons why you should give it a shot.
1. Joint Stiffness Relief
Joint pain is something that you should really try and deal with once you start noticing the symptoms of it.
While the elderly are generally the people who are most affected by joint issues, it can happen to you at any age and it can really mess up your daily life.
The most common causes of joint stiffness are conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and if you have chronic joint pain there’s a good chance it’s one of these things.
Cupping won’t necessarily cure these problems, but it can help relieve a lot of the pain that’s associated with them.
When you have arthritis, the muscles around the affected bones are swelling, which is making it difficult to move and also causing pain due to blood flow being limited.
When the skin around this area is cupped, the skin is lifted off of the muscles and organs, allowing blood to flow through.
This means that oxygen and nutrients will be able to reach the area and the swelling will begin to go down.
This also allows for circulation of lymphatic fluid and this is also important in the spread of nutrients throughout your body.
2. Improves Skin Health
Inflammation of the skin can be caused by any number of things. It can be impacted by your lifestyle or diet, it can be a result of the climate where you live or it could be genetic.
Inflamed skin would result in issues such as acne or rashes and there’s a variety of other problems your skin can face.
Because cupping is causing the blood vessels in your skin to expand, your blood flow will increase and your skin will also tighten.
Acne in particular is something that’s caused by stagnant blood circulation, and cupping will help to stimulate the area where you are breaking out.
This is probably more effective on your back, your legs or other areas where you have skin issues than it would be on your face.
While you can use cupping on your face, you are a little bit limited because you will want to avoid your eyes, nose and mouth.
You might be better off trying gua sha if you are treating your face. Here’s a bit of a rundown of that particular treatment on the Complete Home Spa.
3. Improves Digestion
This is where the benefits get pretty serious. Cupping can treat your digestive tract in a whole bunch of different ways.
Again, the process of raising the skin off of your muscles and organs gives them room to breathe, allowing for various fluids to circulate more efficiently.
Food in your digestive system is moved around by a process known as peristalsis, which is a series of muscle contractions that transport food to different parts of your intestines and colon.
Peristalsis can be slowed down if you’re not eating right or you’re not exercising as much as you should be, meaning that undigested food stays in your system for longer than necessary.
This gives your body more time to absorb the toxins in this food. And this of course can lead to ulcers, intestinal blockages and a whole host of issues.
If you get your abdomen and your lower back cupped, then peristalsis gets the opportunity to properly take effect and your digestive system speeds up.
You should be able to feel relief from digestive discomfort pretty soon after your treatment and then prevent any of the more serious issues from developing later on.
4. Improves Breathing
If you are someone who coughs regularly, it’s probably because you have an excess of phlegm and mucus in your lungs.
This is what happens when you have a cold or you have the flu, and the cough is your bodies way of dealing with it and trying to break down these things.
If you treat the cough with cough medicine, you are not actually making the problem any better. In fact you might be making it worse.
You’re only stopping yourself from coughing which means that the phlegm and mucus is not actually being broken down.
And when it stays in your lungs it can attract even more bacteria and a worse illness could come along.
The best way to actually clear the phlegm is to stimulate your lungs. Cupping will do this job if you get it done on your upper back and chest.
So whether you’ve got a cold or flu or if you have chronic bronchitis or asthma, this would be a good way to improve your breathing.
5. Increases Immunity
This is really a combination of all of the other benefits that I’ve already discussed. But it’s important to note because you should always be looking to improve your immune system.
We’ve talked about the fact that increased blood flow and increased circulation of the lymphatic fluid is one of the results of cupping, and this is how your immune system is strengthened.
Your immune system will be at its strongest, when your body isn’t dealing with a number of smaller afflictions.
If you have chronic digestive issues, respiratory issues and musculoskeletal issues, then when you get sick your immune system is going to be under strain.
It’s already pumping oxygen and nutrients into these areas that are always affected and now it has another, larger problem to deal with.
You are less likely to get over something like the flu. But if you make cupping a relatively regular thing, like maybe if you get it done every six weeks, your immune system will be stronger.
All of these other issues can be avoided because the cupping is increasing your blood and lymphatic circulation.
So always remember that if you want to give this a try, you should seek out a reputable therapist to administer it on you.
The industry is growing and while it might be a little expensive to get a reliable treatment, there is a number of people offering it nowadays so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a good one.
It’s always worth trying new treatments, and while this one might seem intimidating, once you feel the results you won’t regret trying it.