Cupping is one of the oldest forms of therapy and has been in use on every continent around the world. Modern and traditional cupping are the perfect alternative to acupuncture and complement to similar therapies, such as Gua Sha and Baunscheidttherapie.
Cupping can be administered as an invigorating and relaxing massage, as a way of mending, knitting and working our fascia, or applied to specific organ regions, acupuncture points, meridian channels, muscle and joints, or a mix of both, to relieve tension and pain, as well as activate and speed up the body’s self-healing process.
How does cupping work? The suction associated with cupping is what makes this therapy work. The force is created by differences in pressure, for example, low pressure inside the cup caused by fire or pumping action.
Different grades of suction are used in cupping, sometimes up to five types, and are essential in the treatment of a patient’s condition - especially when faced with an excess or deficiency in the body. The practitioner recognises what is needed and either uses the cups to tonify or strengthen a particular organ, meridian, body region or energy – or to disperse and remove stagnation, cold or other condition.
Using the cups heavy-handedly is not always the most optimal approach. Sometimes the softest and most gentle pressure or suction is far more effective. A fundamental holistic understanding of the body, as well as its anatomy, physiology and energetic-based principles are essential.
The suction force generated while cupping helps focus and activate the body’s natural self-healing process by drawing fluid, nutrients, oxygen and energy to the area under treatment.
Oils are often used and chosen for their healing properties. In certain cases, small incisions or pin pricks can be made in the skin, and the cups applied, whereby blood is letted, which is one of the predecessors of acupuncture. Even moxa can be used with cupping.
Cupping influences the movement of fluid, energy and conditions, such as wind, dryness, dampness, cold, heat and their manifestations such as phlegm. Therefore it is a proven therapy for respiratory illnesses and digestive disorders.
Cupping is used for relieving pain, improving circulation, releasing stagnation, softening tissue, treating infection and detoxifying the body. It can speed up the healing process because of its direct and immediate stimulation of the body.
Cups can be made of glass, bone, bamboo, silicon or plastic. They can be left to stand for 15-20 minutes or used in a sliding cup massage using special oils.
A typical side effect of cupping is the discoloration of the skin after the removal of cups. There are many ways to interpret the discoloration but in general it signals the condition of our internal environment (stagnation, heat, damp, cold) and how this condition has been drawn to the surface.
Sliding cup massage along the iliotibial band, achilles, hamstrings, calves, quads, glutes, hips, lower back, feet, etc., has a similar effect on the body as foam rolling: it minimises and reduces fatigue, soreness and tightness, calms the nervous system, refreshes the body, breaks down and transports away any hard or soft build up of waste.
A short note on Wet Cupping
Wet cupping or Chinese bloodletting, also known as phlebotomy in a Western medicine clinical setting, is a traditional medicine practice that actually predates acupuncture and has been widely used around the world through techniques such as scarring and the application of leeches to the body. Bloodletting today relies on hypodermic needles and lancets to practice venesection or the incision of a vein to allow blood to seep out. This is often combined with cupping and is known as wet cupping.
The idea behind bloodletting is to remove old stagnant blood and subsequent waste in that particular blood, as well as prevent blood stasis in general through the letting or movement of the blood via a miniscule incision in the skin or vein. The puncture can relieve pressure and circulatory stagnation, thereby promoting the return of new blood, normal circulation and life force back to the affected area. The physical and psychological benefits can be instant.
Evidence of bloodletting can be dated back to Ancient Egypt, with an over three thousand year history. It is only in recent times that modern medicine and its shift in understanding disease deemed the practice of bloodletting as ineffective and obsolete. However, bloodletting is still practised successfully around the world, with the Master Tung zones and Luo channel theory being particularly important in holistic treatment.
A short note on Moxa
Mugwort is the herb used in the practice of moxibustion (the burning of moxa). Mugwort is renown as a pain relieving herb, and can be used for treating the liver, digestion issues, in parasite cures and to calm the nervous system. Mugwort has been used in the past and still today for spiritual protection and development.
In the practice of moxibustion, moxa sticks made up of Mugwort are used to heat and dispel cold, deficiency and stagnation in the body’s meridian channels and points, as well as to tonify Qi. Basically moxibustion is a form of heat therapy that has been practised for centuries in China and other parts of the world, and was often used instead of acupuncture.
Treatment usually takes between 10-20 minutes for a particular area or point, and is used in combination with other therapies such as cupping and Gua Sha. The moxa stick or cone is either placed directly on the skin or held above. Sticks can be bought already made or moxa punk can be purchased to make your own cones.
A short note on Honey Massage
The tradition of honey massage is well known and widely used in western and eastern European countries, like the Ukraine and Germany. A honey massage uses pure raw honey as its medium and is excellent for skin, metabolic and lymphatic issues. Raw unadulterated honey’s healing benefits and medicinal properties are well documented. When used in massage, its stickiness is instrumental in stimulating the body.
At first this kind of massage can feel quite vigorous, but over time, our skin gets used to the friction caused by the practitioner’s hands and the honey. The actual massage technique is more of a pressing and lifting technique, and lasts anywhere between 15-30 minutes. During the massage the honey starts to change colour and consistency; this is due to the type of impurities drawn out of the body. The massage ends when the honey has been absorbed by the skin, and the leftover waste can be washed off.
Our skin is one of the largest organs in our body. It’s also one of the most powerful detoxification sites and our primary outer layer of defence. Several sessions are required (over a period of a month or more) if particular health conditions are the focus of the massage, such as lymphatic drainage, metabolic activation, skin cleansing, loosening of tissue deposits, musculoskeletal pain or increased circulation.
- Sliding cup massage and therapeutic cupping (static / stretching)
- Modern and traditional cupping techniques
- Pump, silicon and glass cups with fire
- Cupping for pain relief, relaxation, tension release, or other
- If applicable, wet cupping or bloodletting and Moxibustion
- Honey massage together with cupping
- Cupping Therapy combined with Traditional Thai Massage
- Half hourly rate AUD$45
- Discounts apply for multiple sessions over a long term period.
Info for clients
- Please don’t eat 30-60 minutes before treatment
- Sliding cup massage and cupping therapy is performed clothed except for the area to be treated
- Massage table is provided or you can provide your own
- Feet to be washed before the session if this area is to be treated
- For cupping of joints, a dough will made and applied to the joint to secure the cups
- Avoid showering a min. of 8 hours after the massage, if possible up to 2 days
- Keep the area cupped warm and out of cold/wind/damp
- Drink enough water afterwards to assist the body in the cleansing process
Any questions, please feel welcome to contact me on +61 (0)448 381 306 or by email.
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