What Is Cupping Therapy And How Can It Help You?

a Chinese medicine practitioner applying cupping therapy to a person's backCupping is a very ancient practice believed to have originated from Indo China thousands of years ago. It is a very primitive form of therapy. However, it’s benefits are still just as effective as they ever have been.

Cupping is also a therapy that is widely practised throughout Asia, and indeed, the whole world. Cupping therapy was also well received and adopted across Eastern Europe and Russia a few hundred years ago.

How Does Cupping Therapy Work?

Cupping therapy works by creating a vacuum with a flame inside a glass cup and then allowing it to attach to a person’s skin with a sucking action. Once applied, the cups are either left in place for a duration or moved up and down the surface of the skin in order to stimulate blood flow and create movement through the muscles and tissues.

In ancient times, pieces of bamboo carved into wooden cups were used for cupping therapy. Nowadays, it is more common that a practitioner uses a cup made out of glass. Some budget cups are also made out of plastic. However, the preference among cupping and Chinese medicine therapists today is that of the glass variety. Cupping is also a commonly used technique among acupuncture practitioners all over the world.

Benefits Of Cupping

cupping therapy on the back of the thighCupping has a variety of uses and benefits. Here are some of the more common uses:

  • To help improve blood flow to an area of the body
  • To help soften and relax tight or stiff muscles
  • To assist with lymph drainage
  • To help remove internal cold or damp from the body
  • To help move stuck bowel matter causing constipation
  • To help remove blood stagnation

The Common Techniques Of Cupping

The practice of therapeutic cupping has several different methods for the application. Here are some of the most common techniques that you may come across:

Stationary Cupping

This method is when cups are left in place on the body in order to create a strong suction in a static spot or position. In this method, the practitioner may apply several cups to a large area, such as the back. This technique may be used in cases of bronchitis, for example, in order to suck out any cold or damp that is left in the lungs.

Slide Cupping

With the technique of slide cupping, a layer of oil is first applied to the back and then the cups are applied on top. In this method, fewer cups are used. The practitioner will then begin to slide the cups back and forth over a specific area in order to stimulate blood flow, break down scar tissue int he muscles and eliminate toxins and trapped wind.

Blood Letting

This form of cupping is fairly common in Asia, but less so in the West. In this method, the practitioner first locates areas of blood stagnation that is resulting in poor health. Once the point is located, the practitioner will prick the skin with a needle in order to draw blood. The cup is then placed on top of the injured area to suck out the stagnant blood.

Using this method sounds brutal, but it has many health benefits once the stagnant blood is removed. When there is stagnant blood, the first few drops that emit from the body are a very dark or even black colour in some cases. The practitioner will leave the cups in place until the blood runs normal colour.

An Explanation Of Thai Massage And What It Can Do For You

a person receiving a Thai massageAlthough Thai massages have a long history, this massage technique has recently been gaining traction in the west.

If you’re not familiar with this form of massage technique then you will likely have questions about it what it actually is and how it may be able to help you.

Here in this article, we will give you an overview of the practice of this wonderful healing art from Thailand.

Thai Massage – An Overview

What Is Thai Massage?

A Thai massage is a form of massage that is rooted in ancient healing techniques and originating from the country of Thailand (formerly, Siam) in South East Asia. This form of massage combines traditional massages of rubbing, kneading, friction and pressure with a unique combination of stretching techniques to help to loosen stiff muscles and assist the body with flexibility.

Unlike many other forms of massage, no oils are used during a Thai massage. The person that is receiving the massage typically remains clothed. During the treatment, the recipient will have their body stretched, compressed, contorted and kneaded in various ways. Although the techniques can be slightly rough and sometimes painful, the overall experience of a Thai massage is certainly a pleasant one and usually leaves the recipient feeling very relaxed after.

What Is Thai Massage Good For?

If you’re struggling with stress, Thai massage is an excellent way to unwind. This form of massage also has numerous health benefits. For example, Thai massage has been shown to relieve many types of pain, especially pain from sore muscles. These massages can also improve circulation, which can speed up the healing process. Some studies have also suggested that Thai massage can improve the overall mood and increase a person’s sense of well-being.

As a summary, we have listed some of the key benefits of receiving a Thai massage from a qualified practitioner here:

  • Lowers muscular tension
  • Reduces spasms of the muscles
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Improves overall mood and well-being
  • Stabilises energy
  • Builds energy
  • Improves the symptoms of headaches form muscle tension
  • Can benefit neck and shoulder pain
  • Can help to improve sciatic pain

Should I Consider A Thai Massage?

If you want to take advantage of the benefits that Thai massage offers, you should strongly consider scheduling a massage session with a registered professional in your local area.

A Thai massage is a specialist form of therapy and the practitioners are highly trained. In most areas, a masseuse must complete at least 800 hours of training before they can work with clients. You’ll be working with someone that has a strong understanding of the human body and massage principles.

Thai massage is fundamentally different from other forms of massage. Even if you’ve had a massage before, you may not have experienced the benefits that a Thai massage can provide, and certainly not in the same way. Whether you’re looking to unwind or are struggling with chronic pain, working with a trained masseuse could help benefit your health in many different ways.

Here is a demonstration on a Thai massage by practitioner, Sukha Wong.