What is Cupping?
Deep Tissue Cupping or Fire Cupping is an ancient healing art that utilises suction on the skin to promote blood flow and healing. Suction is generated by using heat/fire to create a pressure differential in a specially designed glass cup which can be used to release adhesions between tissues such as skin or muscle, deep massage or to invigorate the area with heat by rapid placement of the cups.
It is believed that this practice dates from as early as 3000BC but the earliest written text is the Ebers Papyrus which describes using cupping by the Egyptians around 1500BC. In china evidence of cupping has been found dating it to around 1000BC and Hippocrates writes of using cupping for internal diseases and structural problems around 400BC.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) cupping is a method of applying acupressure by creating a vacuum on the patient’s skin to dispel stagnation, thus improving flow of Qi. Cupping also is used on back, neck, shoulder and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Cupping can lead to localised bruising which, depending on the colour, can be seen as heat or stagnation being released.
Who uses cupping?
Anyone with muscular tension, knots or pain can have cupping, just like they can have a massage and recently there has been a lot in the news about Team USA and their use of cupping in the 2016 olympics:
But please remember it does, in the majority of cases, leave a mark or bruise and, as always, use a qualified and registered practitioner, preferably with the British Acupuncture Council, when you decide to seek treatment.