The Different Types of Cupping Therapy

Cupping TherapyCupping therapy is an ancient Chinese practice that has been used for centuries to treat various conditions. The therapy consists of using cups to create suction on the skin. This suction is thought to help improve blood circulation, remove toxins, and reduce inflammation. There are a few different types of cupping therapy, and each has its benefits. Here we will explore the three most common types of cupping therapy: dry cupping, wet cupping, and fire cupping.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Are you seeing celebrities show up at events sporting little round marks on the backs? These marks are caused by cupping therapy. What is cupping therapy?

Cupping refers to alternative therapy where cups are placed on the skin to produce suction. This suction is believed to increase energy flow and aid in healing.

Eber’s papyrus (1550 B.C.), one of the oldest medical texts that mention cupping therapy, is also one of the oldest. Although cupping was first mentioned in Ancient Egypt, it is still a part of many ancient healing systems such as Unani, Chinese, Traditional Korean, and Tibetan.

The Greek physician Hippocrates was often called the “father of medicine” and compiled descriptions on cupping techniques.

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine often offer cupping therapy as a treatment.

Suction is believed to facilitate the flow of “qi,” which is the body’s life force. Qi, a Chinese term that means “life force,” is what suction does.

Many believe cupping balances yin/yang or the positive and negative aspects of the body. The body’s resistance to pathogens can be improved by restoring the balance between these extremes. It also can increase blood flow, reduce pain and improve blood flow.

Cupping improves blood circulation in the area where the cups have been placed. This can relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow. It can also be used to create blood vessels and connective tissue.

The Different Types of Cupping Therapy

First cupping was probably done with animal horns. Cups were later made of bamboo and then ceramic. Heat is the main ingredient in creating suction. Cups were heated by fire then applied to the skin. The cups began to draw the skin inwards as they cooled. Modern cupping is done with bell-shaped glasses cups. They can also be made from silicone or plastic.  Today, there are four major types of cupping:

Dry cupping

Dry cupping is the practice of heating a cup and placing it on the skin. Cooling the air creates a suction effect. Bamboo or other materials can sometimes be used in place of glass cups.

In dry cupping, the cups don’t touch the skin. Many practitioners prefer this type of cupping because it is less likely to leave marks or bruising on the body.

Fire cupping

The person receiving fire cupping cotton ball is soaked in alcohol until it becomes fire-proof. The cotton is held in place by a pair of forceps, then lit with a match or lighter. Finally, the cup is placed on top of the skin. The fire uses the cup’s oxygen, which creates a negative pressure within it. The cup is quickly placed on the body, and the negative pressure “sucks up” the skin. To create a tighter seal and allow the cups to glide over muscles (e.g., trapezius, erectors, latissimus dorsi, etc.) In an act known as “gliding cupping” (or “sliding cupping”), Capillary rupture under the skin may cause dark circles to appear around the cup placements. Capillary rupture just under the skin can cause dark circles around the cups.

Wet cupping

-Hijama ( Arabic) is another name for wet cupping. “Sucking” or medicinal bleeding is when blood is drawn from a small incision on the skin.

-Wet cupping is still a common treatment in many Muslim countries.

-Wet cupping is a tradition in Finland. It has been practiced since at least the 15th century.

Cupping could also include the use of:

  • acupuncture needles
  • Moxibustion or the burning of mugwort leafs
  • Magnets
  • Laser therapy
  • Stimulation
  • Water
  • Herbs

There are several subsets of cupping:

Fixed cupping

This refers to cups attached to the body and then left to rest for a time. They do not move during treatment and focus their release on local tissue. You can use them as pump cups, fire cups, suction cups, or pump cups.

Concentrating on one specific area allows for time for connective tissue to stretch. This is most commonly used for localized pain or tension.

The presentation of the cups will affect how strong they are.

Weak cups

The cupping pressure will be lighter if someone has less energy systemically. You will use fewer cups and retain them for a shorter time.

This cupping method is best suited to the elderly, disabled, and young children.

This technique can gently revitalize the body by moving blood and fluids. This technique does not reduce the amount of congestion or stasis that is present in the surrounding tissues.

Medium cups

For people who have more strength, this level of cupping may be more suitable.

It can relieve local congestion in patients with weaker health or increase circulation for those with greater vitality.

Cups left on too long can drain your energy.

Strong cups

Only those with a lot of energy should be subject to strong cupping pressure.

These techniques can drain, and cups should be thrown away.

This level of cupping is often used when there’s chronic localized stasis in surrounding tissue.

The method you choose will depend on your physician, medical needs, and preferences.

Conditions Treated With Cupping Therapy

A wide range of conditions has been treated with cupping. Cupping may be especially effective in relieving muscle pains and aches.

The cups can be used to treat digestive problems, skin conditions, and other conditions that are commonly treated by acupressure.

Cupping therapy can help with these conditions and others.

  • Lower back pain: Cupping can provide relief from lower back pain. The application of cups enhances physical activity by increasing flexibility and reducing stiffness, especially helpful for those with osteoarthritis. Many turn to cups because of their ability to apply deep pressure, reducing discomfort and improving blood flow.
  • Neck and shoulder pain: The muscles surrounding the neck and shoulders have a high number of sensory receptors. While cupping may not relieve pain in the shoulder joint, it may help increase blood flow.
  • Migraine and headache: Cupping can be used as a tension headache reliever. It is not uncommon to find people with migraine pain to experience relief from cupping therapy. Its effect on the nervous system and circulatory system may reduce the number of headaches individuals suffer throughout their lives. Cupping can also help release muscle tension and stress, which may relieve some of the migraines it can cause.
  • Knee pain: It helps treat knee pain caused by arthritis, gout, rheumatism, or muscle strains. It helps to reduce the stiffness that accompanies these conditions. Cupping can improve flexibility in the area where cups are applied.
  • Shingles: Cupping can relieve muscle spasms and aches that shingles can cause.
  • Facial paralysis: It can help relieve wrinkles and treat paralysis of the facial muscles.
  • Cough dyspnea: Cupping can produce an expectorant effect, which is helpful for those struggling with respiratory issues.
  • Acne: Applying cups to the back can help relieve acne breakouts.
  • Lumbar disc herniation: Applying cups to the lower back can help relieve pain.

Some of the other problems that can be treated by cupping therapy are sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Asthma.

More research is needed to determine if cupping is effective in these situations.

The Working Principle Of The Suction?

The cup can be heated using alcohol, herbs, or even paper. The heat source is turned off, and the cup heated is placed on your skin with the open side.

The hot cup cools down and draws your skin and muscles up to the cup. As the pressure changes, your skin might turn red.

Modern cupping practitioners use rubber pumps to create suction rather than traditional heat methods.

The suction helps release the muscles, which increases blood flow to the area. It also loosens any knots in the muscle fibers.

Application Sites

Cupping can be applied to various parts of the body, depending on the disease condition. These include the back, neck, interscapular area, right and left carotids, the lateral side, the protuberance behind the ears, the middle and crown, the breast, the hips or buttocks, and the anal region. Cups are most commonly used on the back, abdomen, buttock, and areas with abundant muscle. The cups should be left in place for between 5-10 minutes and sometimes longer. Histological changes in the skin are not caused by cellular infiltration but vasodilatation or edema. Cupping can often cause erythema and edema in a circular pattern. The majority of local skin changes disappear within a few days.


Richmond Hill Massage Therapy

It is quite an ancient form of alternative medicine that has been used for centuries. It is still used today to treat a variety of medical conditions. There are various types of cupping therapy, and each type has its benefits. Richmond Hill Massage Therapy offers several different types of cupping therapy, including glass cups, silicone cups, and fire cupping. Each type has its unique benefits. -If you are looking for an effective way to treat a medical condition or just a way to relax and relieve stress, cupping therapy may be the solution for you. Richmond Hill Massage Therapy offers a variety of treatments that can meet your needs. Contact us today at (289) 809-0281 to learn more about our services!

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