All images © Jan Shim Photography
Shocking as it may seem, the red marks are not permanent and will fade and eventually disappear in about a week. Caused by an ancient Chinese technique to remove ‘wind’ that is believed to cause the aches in our body, Cupping Therapy is often the method of choice beyond what a traditional massage offers if you prefer to stay away from accupuncture. Here’s an excerpt from a web article about what cupping is and its benefits …
Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place.
Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the ‘Meridians’ of the body. Meridians are the conduits in the body through which energy flows to every part of the body and through every organ and tissue. There are five meridians on the back that, when opened, allow invigorating energy to travel the whole length of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.
Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins. Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available. Cupping, the technique, is very useful and very safe and can be easily learned and incorporated into your family health practices. Source: internet
In short, cupping brings fresh blood to the area and improves circulation and is widely used for aches and pain relief for reasons described above but is also believed to be used to treat respiratory problems, coughs, wheezing and digestive problems. Obviously, this is a procedure that needs to be administered by professionals who know what they are doing and the consequences that may arise from malpractice.
I’ve had acupuncture as well as cupping and have no preference of one over the other. A traditional Indonesian or Chinese massage works for me in most cases when the pain isn’t too bad and the whole idea is meant to provide relief rather than a fix. Cupping therapy is painful (contrary to what some sites may claim) and if you have a low tolerance for pain I suggest you don’t go there. There are a number of cupping methods, fire cupping being the traditional and most effective method. I’ve only ever tried the fire method and according to interpretation, the darker the colour the greater is the presence of toxins or ‘wind.’
Here’s a picture of my back several hours after one pretty intense session.