If you’ve been watching swimming event at the Summer Olympics, you may have seen a practice know as cupping. You’ve at least seen the aftermath on swimmers skins with the red marks at cupping leaves.
It's not some new kind of sports tattoo. It's the mark of a traditional Chinese therapy aimed at promoting healing.
Why Olympic athletes use cupping therapy? How does it work? Is there any evidence to support it?
Some athletes believe traditional cupping promotes healing, especially the Chinese magnetic acupressure cupping, that each cup is equipped with magnets and acupressure tips.
The doctor who performs this cupping therapy will tell you that this directs the brain to send energy and blood flow to parts of the body that need healing. While many in the scientific community say there is no proof that it works.
As explained by Wikipedia, cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin.
There is no good evidence it has any health benefits, and there are even some risks of harm, especially from wet cupping and fire cupping. However, cupping still has become the latest fad in nowadays.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping is an alternative form of medical therapy. A therapist places special cups on your skin. Heat or an air pump creates suction under the cup for a few minutes.
The suction pulls up the skin, rupturing the blood-bearing capillaries just below the surface. Patients usually emerge with red, swollen, and even bruised welts on their backs.
Scientist say people report few serious side effects from the practice.
Generally there are two types of cups, one is pressure cups that work by connecting a manual pump allowing for specific amounts of pressure to be created; and the other type is fire cups, where glass cups are heated with an open flame, creating a natural vacuum within the space drawing the skin inside.
While there is still another type named wet cupping (also known as Hijama), the skin is first picked with an acupuncture needle, then draws blood out of the body and into the cups.
People in China and East Asia have practiced cupping for thousands of years. Its proponents insist cupping can help with pain, back problems, herpes, cough, and ACNE. But modern medicine has not been able to confirm these benefits.
Nowadays, cupping is essentially just another type of soft-tissue treatment that utilizes either silicon or glass cups to create a negative pressure, which then lifts the skin, lifts the soft tissue underneath it and separate it out.
It’s a little bit different than a lot of other types of soft-tissue treatment where it actually utlizes compression. So many users just give feedback that cupping is a good tool when used at the right time.
What Are The Benefits of Cupping Massage?
From back pain to muscle soreness even headaches, doctors say medical cupping therapy can be used to alleviate pain. Fifteen-minute pressure is painless for the patient feeling similar to a massage.
The suction cup first attaches to the area of pain on the body, and then moves around redirecting the pain away from that area.
You're probably familiar with the therapeutic benefits of deep tissue massage and how it loosens knots, increases range of motion, and reduces pain and inflammation.
However, when cupping is added to a massage session, you’re able to get even faster results with less pain. And there are three ways that cupping can make a good massage a great massage.
#1 It's relaxing. Cupping along the spine, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, to produce relaxing and sedating effect on the recipient. It's not uncommon for them to fall asleep, toxic feelings of anxiety and stress are lifted up and away.
#2 It reduces pain. Recent studies have shown the cupping helps to relieve neck, back, carpal tunnel as well as knee pain. It's widely believed that the suction on the skin increases blood flow to the area, resulting in a mild immune response. It's also thought the cupping helps to release pressure which can pull on muscles causing pain or limited movement.
#3 It produces fast results. Achieving profound therapeutic results such as these simply is impossible with hands alone, it's said that just five minutes of cupping is equivalent to 30 minutes of a deep tissue massage.
What is more, you can do cupping therapy or massage at home by yourself, thus you can also save time and save money.
Does Cupping Really Work? (Reviews from Users)
The origins of cupping began in China with a process utilizing animal horns for things like drawing infection out of the body. But does modern cupping work and what does it do? Let check some real reviews from people who already tried cupping therapy or cupping massage.
“I bought it for my husband. He runs everyday and runs all the marathons he can. He is always sore and when I saw Michael Phelps at the Olympics I bought those too. My husband says if works and I don't have to massage him for hours anymore. I put the cups where he wants them and remove them after 15 or 20 minutes. It works!”
“I was nervous to use this cupping set as I had no experiences with cupping prior to this purchase. It was super easy to use, and although slightly uncomfortable at first, became relaxing. Definitely helped to relieve the chronic discomfort I have in my neck and upper back. Left some pretty dark marks on one side of my body, which the internet says is stagnant blood being moved and detoxed. I had absolutely no problems with suction or using any of the parts. Will continue to use and see the long term benefits.”
“Been doing acupuncture and for a few years and also have had cupping done during my sessions. I decided to buy one for myself to help when I feel pain in my lower back either from my bad posture or doing intense yoga poses and feel a bit off the next few days. I'd say these work pretty good. This worked to release the tension or area suffering from the pain. Even as little as 5 minutes sometimes helps. ”
The cupping is good for sore muscles, for people who experience pain in joints bronchial problem, for the gist of problem, for help with fertility.
It's also very calming helped to prepare muscles for exercise, it's helped to improve blood flow and opposite side after competition.
Whereas let's get create lot of toxins lactic acid and others, it is help remove that stuff quickly and it is going to be more and more popular in the world.
What is Facial Cupping and How Does it Work?
People are trying face cupping as an instant facelift and it is said that facial cupping may help smooth lines and wrinkles.
Different than body cupping, during this treatment the cups are constantly moving, which stimulates circulation and builds collagen.
Thus with the face cupping massage, we can actually get in and exercise every single muscle of the face, stretch the muscles that are too tight, tone the muscles that are too loose, and re-establish the perfect balance.
It accomplishes muscle relaxation, so you’ll never even think about Botox injections. If you’ve never done facial cupping massage, start with a small cup.
Once your face is accustomed to cupping massage, you’ll be ready to move up to the next level. The stronger the cup, the more intense the experience and more impressive results.
1) Cupping is absolutely prohibited in patients with hematological diseases, such as hemophilia, leukemia, pernicious anemia.
2) Don't use cupping on patients with heart diseases, high blood pressure, tumor, pregnant women, menstruation, coma, less than 12 years old, skin damage, convulsions.
How to Use the Cupping Therapy for Healthier Life:
Step 1: Put some anti cellulite lotion or massage oil or cream on the target skin area.
Step 2: Put the cups on the skin and gently squeeze the cup in the middle, then put the cup lips to you skin and release to create a vacuum.
Step 3: Begin by applying a light suction and increase the amount of suctions gradually to stimulate circulation. Gently move the cups over the skin using straight line and circular movements, massaging for 8-10 minutes per target area.
Step 4: Repeat all the steps above everyday for the best results.
How to Choose the Size of Cups:
We recommend that you use the large or medium cup for larger areas of the body, like the thighs and behind. The small cup is ideal for smaller areas like the arms, stomach, knees, and calves.
These soft cups conform to the body and can be easily controlled for as light or deep a massage as you like. The unique shape of the cups makes them easier to grip than basic cup styles, so they're particularly handy when working on the back of the body.