Ever wondered what those circular marks are on celebrities’ backs and arms? It’s not caused by aliens (although in Hollywood that could be true), but instead a Chinese Medicine practice called cupping.
So what exactly is cupping and should you try it?
What is cupping?
In cupping, heated glass, silicon or bamboo cups are placed onto the skin to form suction. It’s believed that this improved blood flow to cure many ails – skin problems, depression, sore muscles, and even cellulite!
Cupping has been practiced by more than 5000 years. Acupuncturists say cupping is linked to energy. When the energy in our body becomes blocked, we need therapies like cupping to get the energy flowing again, so our body can heal itself.
Does it hurt?
While it might sound and look painful, cupping shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort whatsoever. It’s a little like putting a glass on your leg, creating a suction, and then pulling it off again. The mark left behind is simply caused by blood being drawn to the surface of the skin.
Will cupping work?
Unfortunately, there has so far been little scientific evidence to back up claims that cupping can heal various issues and illnesses. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective, simply that previous studies haven’t been large enough to make definitive claims and more research is needed. It also means that you will have to try cupping for yourself to see if your body responds to the treatment.
You might like to try cupping for the problems noted above, as well as for migraines, varicose veins, anxiety, fertility, and various blood disorders.
You should discuss these problems with your acupuncturist/cupping therapist before beginning treatment.
Are there any side effects?
While cupping is said to be very clean and safe, some people may experience bruising, skin irritation, or minor burns.
Where can I try cupping?
If you’re interested in cupping, book an appointment with a local Chinese Medicine practitioner or acupuncturist.