Healthy Habit Of The Week: Cupping

cupping

(glass cupping jars via Etsy) 

If you are a fan of celebrity magazines, you know that Jennifer Aniston has been seen sporting the “marks” of cupping (that do fade after a bit) on her back, and if you read the Western doctor interpretation of cupping , most will say it is total wacky pseudiscience.  I tried cupping out of deep necessity (couldn’t move my neck) and it was amazing.  Here’s a bit about cupping and why a back full of welts for a few days might kick-start big healing for you!

Here’s how it worked for me.  Oil was applied to my back where the cups were going to be placed.  I was face down on a massage table.  There was a sound like fire was starting.  Apparently, alcohol is put in the bottom of small glass jar “cups” that is then ignited to create a quick burts of heat inside cups that are quickly applied to certain areas (meridians) of the back to create deep suction.  The fire sound started, then the cup “grabbed” onto my back.  If felt almost like a vaccuum cleaner suction hose was attached to each area of my neeck and back, holding me in a tight grip that was strangely relaxing.  Once all the cups were heated and applied, I was leftunder a blanket for 10 minutes as the cups did their work.  Over time, the suction became less pronounced.  So did my physical tension.

When the cups were finally, and easily, taken off, I felt enormous relief.  It was as though I just had a massage, but a massage that “took the tension out” of me rather than pushing energy inward.  That is how I conceptualize it.  My neck could move about 50% more instantly, and I had a huge realization about what I was energetically holding onto in terms of eotional and mental stress. I felt lighter.

Dr. Chen explained that the areas where the cups drew up purple were areas of great stagnation in my body.  Circulation heals and stagnation creates issues.  She told me I needed to exercise more and let go of things. She told me a story of how a patient of hers was fighting cancer and how she beat it… all the while her husband sat in worry about losing her.  As it turned out, the very strong woman fought and won her cancer battle.  Her husband, shockingly, consumed with stress and worry, actually died. That was her cautionary tale about learning to process things and let them go.  I took it as quite a good reminder.

I had lots of purple welts rather than rosy pink.  I was  getting stagnant. Cupping was a metaphor for me as well- all those bruises sort of staring back at me reminding me of all I had absorbed of life that was toxic that needed to be expelled.

According to the Unerground Heath Reporter:

Fire cupping’s most potent impact by far is its tried-and-true ability to optimize circulation.

Increased blood flow to all areas of your body provides a number of important health improvements, from cell growth and organ function to the appearance of your skin. Red blood circulates oxygen throughout your body, and the more efficiently that happens, the better you’ll look and feel.

By bringing fresh blood to the surface of your skin, cupping can:

  • Open the chest and lungs
  • Alleviate menstrual cramps
  • Diminish digestive problems
  • Clear up coughs, wheezing and other respiratory problems
  • Halt migraines
  • Manage acute and chronic pain

I can not verify any of these claims, but I can say that I am clear-minded, ready to exercise more, I can move my immobilized next and my ideas are flowing freely after cupping.  I don’t feel like I have a low grade cold from allergies;  I am quick and I am exergized.

Even though I am covered in giant red battle wounds of cupping, I trusted my doctor and I love the results.  All alternative therapies should only be performed by qualified- and excellent- professionals, and in concert with your medical practitioners.  I am sure that cupping is not for everyone, but if it is a therapy that is viable for you, I can tell you that it is a very cool experience from where I sit today!

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Michelle August 26, 2013 at 12:15 am

VERY interesting, thanks for sharing. I had never heard of cupping before. Maybe it would have healed my neck a few years ago, instead of extra trips to the chiropractor. Now, do not get me wrong he eventually helped me tremendously. He is actually the one who got me started drinking enough water every day! But, it took me several visits before I could actually relax before he gave me an alignment and there was no improvement until I could relax. Anyway, thanks again for sharing this unusual alternative. 🙂

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