Cupping therapy is an ancient form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for thousands of years. There are 3 types of cupping (wet, dry, and fire), each with their own unique way to perform them. As an RMT, I have been practicing fire cupping for 7 years.
With fire cupping, an alcohol swab is lit on fire and quickly placed inside the cup, then removed. The cup is then put on the area to be treated. It can be left stationary or moved around. This creates a negative pressure on the area and causes a local vasodilation (widening) of the blood vessels. It increases circulation and improves oxygen supply and cell metabolism, which decreases inflammatory or toxic substances. Cupping is able to affect tissues up to 4 inches below the skin's surface.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, cupping improves the flow of Qi (chi), or energy in the body. If Qi is disrupted, it can create stagnation (blockage) or imbalance of energy in the body. For this reason, it is not uncommon to have a release of emotions after receiving a cupping treatment.
There are many benefits of cupping, including increased circulation, increased range of motion, decreased pain, and promotion of tissue healing. It is used to treat many conditions such as:
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic injuries
- Colds and asthma (loosens phlegm for a cough)
- Scar tissue
- Adhesions (knots)
- Digestion problems
- Improves immunity
The marks left behind are areas of stagnant blood and toxins being pulled to the surface. These are not bruises and are not painful, but may be tender. They go away in about 1-10 days, depending on the individual. The discolouration can tell you several things. No colour means nerve or bone issues, Qi or energy deficiency. Light pink/red means moderate blockage. Dark purple means severe stagnation or toxin buildup. With more cupping treatments, the marks actually decrease in colour. They do this because there is no longer stagnant blood sitting in your tissues to be pulled up.
After receiving a cupping treatment, you should drink plenty of water, rest, and stay warm. You will want to avoid intense exercise and extreme hot/cold temperatures. All of this will ensure that you get the best results from your treatment.
If you’re ready to try it out, you can click the link to book online! Link to online booking for Fire Cupping.
Below is a slow motion video of placing a cup on the area to be treated.