What is Fire Cupping?
Fire Cupping Therapy, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is a hidden treasure unknown to many people. However, in recent years, cupping has peaked the curiosity and popularity of the unfamiliar thanks to several well-known persons in the news such as Olympic Gold Medalist Stephanie Rice, Chinese Swimmer Wang Qun, Actress Gwen Paltrow, Jessica Simpson, Victoria Beckman, Terri MacLeod, the Dr. Oz Show, and recently the movie, “Karate Kid.”
“Cupping [dating back 3,500 years] is the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatment in human history. Most cultures can produce historical evidence that some variation of Cupping was used regularly in their medical histories… It is also known from stone carvings and drawings that the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Nordics, Celts, Ottoman Turks, Persians, Polish, Brazilians, Mayans, Aztecs, Russians, Slavs, Italians, and healers throughout the Islamic Nations all used Cupping.” The International Cupping Therapy Association
In cupping, the capillaries are not ruptured nor does cupping cause injury unless the practitioner is insufficiently trained or a contraindication is ignored. The suction action from the cups pull bad Chi (energy), toxic & stagnant fluids and blood poisons (Chinese terminology) from deep within the tissues to the skin’s surface and causes a type of discoloration. “The color, amount, shape, and speed of what emerges to the surface vary according to the severity of the client’s blood stasis. For instance, white or grayish discolorations reflect poor Chi (energy), yellow in the cup shows phlegm excess, speckling (pupura/patches) on skin reflect toxins in the blood, and a purple/blackish color reflects blood stagnation.” The International Cupping Therapy Association
It is fair to note that discolorations will lessen considerably as you progress through your sessions. As with any chronic situation, it will take more than one session to obtain long-term positive results. However, most people do look and/or feel noticeably different after their first treatment.
How does Cupping Work?
Is Cupping Painful?
In general, cupping is NOT painful. However, the answer to this question could be yes or no depending on who you ask and the therapist performing your treatment. Naturally some people have a low pain tolerance or a condition where they are sensitive to the slightest touch while others have a higher pain tolerance and can easily tolerate more pressure on or in their bodies. The other factor is the practitioner. Some practitioners are more considerate of the client's pain tolerance while others are not -- for they take a more no pain-no gain approach. I am the kind of therapist that leans toward a more considerate approach. However, in some cases and depending on the condition being treated, it may be helpful to take the body passed its comfort zone in order for the treatment to be effective.
How To Prepare For a Cupping Session?
Prior to your cupping session, particularly if it's your first one, it is beneficial to drink lots of room temperature water, get plenty of rest, avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, eat less or no processed foods, dairy, and meat a few days prior to session. This will assist the body in adjusting, flushing, and processing the treatment. Being that cupping initiates detoxification, following the above recommendation, before and after a session, will minimize any side effects (nausea, headaches, lightheadedness) that are common while detoxing.
The preparation is just as important as the treatment because the body can't do it alone. Our bodies were not designed to process the huge amounts of chemicals, electromagnetic energies, pollutants, pharmaceuticals, radiations, stress, toxins and weight overwhelming on our body's systems on a daily basis. Because the body does not know how to eliminate these threats, they stay stored in the body causing us dis-ease on many different levels. Nowadays, it has become necessary and in many cases imperative to use a combination of approaches to help the body rid itself of bad energies, blood poisons, toxins, and stagnation. Of course, diet and exercise, are the obvious but there are other natural, non-invasive, and less expensive ways to prolong your health such as breathing exercises, energy balancing, bodywork, cupping therapies, massage therapies, meditation, positive thinking, prayer, sound therapies, traditional Chinese medicines, yoga, as well as a host of other alternative medicinal approaches. More importantly, these alternatives complement and support most traditional medical treatments.
Cellulite Reduction with Cupping
After your cupping session you should avoid exposure to cold, wet, and/or windy weather conditions, hot showers, baths, saunas, hot tubs and aggressive exercise for 24 hours. Again, you don't want to overwhelm your body systems through the detox process. Exposure to such extremes can produce undesireable effects, therefore, try to avoid such conditions.