Suction cupping or fire cupping is a massage technique that is very beneficial for the overall health. One of its main effects is detoxification, and it also solves a wide spectrum of problems, especially those associated with joint and muscle pain.
What is suction cupping?
This technique uses cups, made of glass, plastic or other materials, that are heated and pressed tight against the skin. As the air in the cup cools down, it forms a vacuum which pulls up on the skin, creating an acupressure effect. This may cause some discomfort, but it does not hurt.
Cupping is used to treat muscle and joint pain due to arthritis and rheumatic problems, to improve blood circulation, to relieve the symptoms of respiratory infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, flu and common cold.
It also uses organ-related reflex zones to improve the function of several internal organs, like kidneys, liver, stomach and intestines. If performed on certain zones of the body, cupping improves the immune system by stimulating the release of a histamine-like substance that participates in the immune response.
Detoxification with suction cupping
One of the therapeutic uses of cupping is detoxification. The modern lifestyle unfortunately exposes people to many toxins, coming from the food, the air and the water, not to mention the unhealthy habits like smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse. Toxins accumulate in the body and interfere with normal functioning of the organs and increase the risk of many diseases.
Suction cupping, especially if combined with other detoxifying techniques, can successfully eliminate the toxins from the body. By stimulating the skin and the underlying muscles, it directly causes the release of the accumulated toxins and improves the functioning of blood circulation and the lymphatic system.
Cupping therapy in traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine commonly uses suction cupping to treat colds, lung infections and problems related to the internal organs. It is an analternative for acupuncture and basically uses the same spots as acupressure, only with slightly different effect.
This medicine is based on the belief that the human health depends on the balance of the qi, which is the life energy flowing through the body in channels. When the qi is off balance, problems and illnesses occur.
Cupping is used when the practitioner believes that the qi is blocked or it needs to be drawn out to the surface. For example, cupping can treat lung infections by unblocking the qi trapped in the lungs, dispersing it and energizing it.
Today, cupping is a widely used method in both Chinese and Western medicine. It is an alternative method that has been proven to be very effective and helpful for certain problems.