Cupping is a medical treatment which involves applying bell-shaped cups made of glass, bamboo or plastic to the skin in order to warm the area affected by impaired circulation. Put simply, it relaxes muscles where they are tight or cold.
The glass and/or bamboo cups are heated with a flame before being placed on the skin. This is known as “fire cupping”. When plastic cups are used they are suctioned with special device and this type is called “suction cupping”. Both types are practised at AcuWell. Another type of cupping is called “wet cupping” and involves placing glass cups over an area needing treatment which has been bled by the practitioner. However, this type of cupping is not practised at AcuWell.
Cupping is used to treat pain or injuries, musculo-skeletal conditions such as back pain, shoulder or neck pain, frozen shoulder, tension or tightness, ie: in the lower back or neck, respiratory problems, ie: asthma, bronchiitis, stress – it is also very relaxing!
An injury can rupture small blood vessels and this causes blood to clot in the tissues. This blood congeals and disrupts the normal circulation of blood, Qi and fluids / lymph. It also prevents muscle fibres from sliding smoothly across one another. The area becomes more susceptible to cold which, in turn, restricts movement further.
Cupping stimulates the flow of blood, lymph or fluids, and Qi (“vital energy”) into the affected area. This is done by heating a cup and placing it on the area of the body affected by pain, stress, stiffness or injury. The lip of the cup creates a seal. As the air inside the cup cools, a firm suction /vacuum is created. Skin and muscle tissue are drawn up into the cup.
The cups, when removed, sometimes leave temporary marks in the form of red rings or the marks may look like bruises. This is perfectly normal and is not sore; it is just discolouration from stagnant blood and fluids in the area being drawn to the surface and out of the muscles and deeper tissues. If there is no stagnation, the skin will become red while the cup is on but the redness will fade quickly when the cup is removed.
This medical treatment has been in existence for centuries. In ancient China it was a “folk medicine” performed in villages. It later became part of the healthcare system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Cupping can be used on its own; however, it is more often used with acupuncture and/or Tui Na (deep tissue medical massage).
Irish Independent Article re: Cupping: Leaving its mark: Read the full article here
Irish Daily Mail Article re: cupping & AcuWell: Back to basics… Jennifer shows off ancient Chinese therapy on the red carpet. Read the full article here
“I have had lower back problems for 25 years. My excellent physio suggested acupuncture to help with management of pain. After a course of treatments with Maria I was able to reduce my medication and had significantly improved movement. The cupping and massage after treatment is very soothing and relaxing. Acupuncture is a very ancient tried and tested branch of medicine, and unlike conventional medicine it does not have unpleasant side effects. Maria is simply gifted.” Kate
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