What is Cupping?
Cupping dates back over a thousand years and this type of therapy uses glass, plastic or silicone cups depending on the area being treated and area of the body. Traditional fire cupping uses glass cups and an open flame to both warm the cups and create the desired suction on the skin. Glass suction cups with a handheld pump will be most frequently used in the clinic due to ease of use and adaptability to different areas of the body. Silicone cups are mostly used for facial rejuvenation and for the more sensitive body area.
What can cupping therapy treat?
Cupping is most frequently used to help relieve musculoskeletal pain, most notably along the shoulders, neck, and low back and sometimes over the abdomen. By creating negative pressure, cupping increases the circulation of blood and qi around the surrounding area to promote faster healing, help relieve any congestion or pain due to blockages.
Cupping Therapy is most beneficial for:
- Musculoskeletal pain including neck, shoulders, back and legs
- Lung issues such as asthma, bronchitis and allergies
- Facial rejuvenation
- Immune support
- Digestive Health
- Menstrual pain
Gua Sha Therapy:
Gua Sha is a technique that involves the scraping or moving across the skin surface using special tools which are usually made of porcelain, jade or horn. Similar to cupping therapy gua sha also treats musculoskeletal pain due to arthritis, tendonitis, swelling and general muscular tension in the neck and shoulders. Gua sha does not use negative pressure or suction like cupping but instead the practitioner will apply varying degrees of pressure and depending on the comfort of the patient, glide or scrape across the skin surface using a medium such as massage oil or lotion. As a result of this technique the skin may also show some discoloration after treatment similar to cupping these types of therapies are usually complementary to your Acura puncture treatment
Are those bruises?
For some patients receiving gua sha or cupping, especially in the initial stages, may produce a temporary discoloration of the skin similar to bruising in varying shades from light red to dark purple. This is perfectly normal and is considered a therapeutic result of these particular techniques. The discoloration or “sha” will usually resolve between 3 to 7 days after treatment. Although each patient is different, the general rule of thumb is that the darker the areas of discoloration are after treatment, the more chronic or severe the condition. A sandy texture to skin the skin as a result of cupping or gua sha also represents an accumulation of dampness or toxins that are being brought up for further detoxification. Also keeping the affected areas covered and away from possible exposure to wind or extreme temperatures and drinking plenty of water will speed up the healing process. One may also choose to apply Arnica cream or gel to the discolored areas to help improve the bruised appearance.
Please inform the acupuncturist if you have any bleeding or clotting disorders, are taking blood thinners, or have any upcoming special events prior to your treatment so any modifications can be made.