Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice involving the insertion of thin needles into specific points, called meridians, along the skin. There are many reported benefits to this treatment, such as pain relief, improved digestion, immune support, increased circulation, and even help with infertility.
Cupping Therapy is another method that is sometimes employed by acupuncturists. It involves the use of suction to increase blood flow within the body and facilitate the flow of energy, allowing your body to rid itself of toxins and work toward an increased state of balance and well-being.
Your acupuncturist will begin by taking a health history and performing an exam to learn the current state of your health. Next, your practitioner will determine where to place the cups and how many to use. The suction cups are usually made of glass, although sometimes a suction pump is used instead. Once heated, the cups are placed on the skin along the body’s meridians, creating a type of vacuum. They are typically placed on the back, or on the backs of the legs, while the head, face and neck are avoided, and will remain in place for 5-10 minutes.
The treatment is generally painless, but it can leave large bruises or discolorations on the skin. Do not be alarmed—this is a sign that the practice is working and that stagnant blood is being drawn up to the surface of the skin. It is thought that the darker the bruise, the higher levels of toxins and stagnation are being released in that area of the body. The bruises will generally disappear within a week.
While there is not a lot of scientific research around this practice, many people report noticing benefits following treatment. It is thought that Cupping Therapy helps to stimulate the blood vessels, enabling better circulation within the body and inviting new, fresh blood to make its way to affected areas. In this revitalized environment, the tissues can begin to repair themselves.
Consult with your doctor to see if Cupping Therapy might be right for you. It should be noted that this therapy is contraindicated for certain serious health conditions, as well as pregnancy. However, in many cases, studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that this treatment can work well as an adjunct to your existing therapies, and may just provide that extra boost you need to overcome your health concerns and embark on a path of greater health and vitality.