Remember last year’s Olympics? More Specifically, do you remember those perfectly formed Swimmers with the unforgettable ‘V’s, who were sporting those big, black perfectly shaped circles on their well earnt ‘temple’ of a body? No, they didn’t ‘pump’ themselves up so much by hitting their own muscles a little too hard, as a matter of a fact those bruises are a result from a form of Acupuncture, called ‘Cupping’.
What is Cupping?
Cupping is when suction is applied locally to the skin to help mobilise blood flow, prevent pain, swelling and stiffness all to promote healing in a range of conditions. Cupping therapy isn’t as new as you think! It actually dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures, but has only recently in the past few years been notable within alternative therapies.
So, What Happens?
It’s actually quite simple. Glass Cups are heated up with a naked flame and applied to what are called meridian points along the body. Do you remember what Meridian points are from my past Blog on the Bowen Technique? They’re Energy Points that connect and unite different parts of our body, providing the transport service for the essential substances of blood and other body fluids. As the cups cool, the drop in temperature creates a vacuum that pulls at the skin and encourages blood to that area. The vacuum formed by cupping is thought to draw up old non-circulating stagnant blood and sticky fluids from the area, bringing them up to the surface and away from the injury so that healthy free circulation can be restored to the affected area, consequently creating space for oxygen, living cells and nutrients for faster recovery. The bruises where the cups have been may last for a few days, and the more stiffness, inflammation, pain or injury in the muscle being treated, the more blood that needs moving in that area, and the darker the mark left on the skin will be.
What Do I Think?
I’ve had Cupping treatment a few times to relive tension around my shoulders and back, and honestly, I can definitely notice a difference. Yes, the bruises for the next 5 days or so are a tad tender, ugly and call for the high-necked T-Shirts, but the difference in tightness is unquestionably improved. I’m not saying it works for everyone, as does anything, however, I strongly recommend giving it a try if you suffer from tight, sore muscles whether it’s your back or you IT Band.