Cupping: An Ancient Chinese Healing Therapy Made its Debut in the 2016 Olympics

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Although a new concept to most people in the U.S, this ancient Chinese practice has been in my family for over 50 years and the results are amazing.  Fast forward to 2016, this natural therapeutic technique is now emerging in the world of athletes and the 2016 Olympics, currently being held in Brazil.

I remember receiving the treatment as a little girl, probably not older than 6 years old.  My mom would use the cupping technique when my sister and I would get sick with chest colds in particular.  We would lay face down on the bed; she’d insert a long lit match inside the cup and place the cup directly on our backs. The process is very quick and particular attention must be paid on the skin once the cup is placed on the skin. The cup is only exposed to the the fire for approximately 1 – 2 seconds, otherwise a burn may occur.

cup 1

The cups are not small, approximately the size of a  small glass and roughly 8-12 cups are required for each body part.  Logically thinking, the amount of cups required is different for each body part and person, whether it’s a man or a woman. Their size plays a huge role in estimating how many cups will be needed.  Another thing to keep in mind; if you’re using the cups to work your entire back, then additional cups will be needed, but if you have the time, limit it to one body part at a time just so not to over do it. Expect the marks to remain on your body for a week or two but again everyone is different.  If there’s a planned event in the near future you have to attend then your attire should cover the body part the procedure was performed on.

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You should keep in mind that once the cups are placed on the skin, the suction only lasts minutes and then the cups should be removed. The capillaries beneath the surface of the skin rapture, creating a purple, bruise like, circular mark in each space the cup was placed.  If 8 cups were used, you will have 8 circular marks on your body and wearing revealing clothing is not recommended unless of course you are in the Olympics.  It’s a suction mark caused by applying heat in the cup like object and immediately applying it to the affected area where pain is being experienced.  A natural treatment that requires no medication, which is already a plus, it’s recyclable and can be used for years to come.  Can you ask for anything better?

There are risks involved even with prior experience when performing the cupping therapy technique.

Today, many are taking the time to educate themselves on the topic of ancient Chinese cupping practice that works wonders.  If you were amongst the millions watching the 2016 Olympics, you should have noticed, Michael Phelps, U.S.A Swim Team Gold Medal winner, had traces of the cupping marks on his shoulders and back, indicating either strain on his muscles or a preventative as most athletes are now turning to. “I’ve done it before meets, pretty much every meet I go to,” Phelps said on Monday. “So I asked for a little cupping yesterday because I was sore and the trainer hit me pretty hard and left a couple of bruises.”

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It is NOT recommended to try this technique at home with no prior experience.  You can speak with your local physical therapy facility to see if this technique is offered there or perhaps your physician can make a recommendation.  If you decide to try cupping at home, do your research well and don’t over do it your first time.  Improper usage of the cup could cause severe burns on the body.  It is recommended to apply the cups for a maximum of 10 minutes or you will risk doing more harm to your body.  You will notice the skin is pulling slightly upwards away from the body and into the cup. It is normal and there’s no need to get alarmed.

We do want to mention that one should not get the cupping technique mixed up with Hijama, which is wet cupping, the technique of drawing blood in order to eliminate pain.

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Severe burn marks from improper cupping

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The cupping technique is being practiced world wide and making it’s trend through the healthcare industry, leaning more towards holistic healing and alternative medicine.  It’s benefits definitely out-way any modern form of treating multiple conditions with new age medication.  The cupping technique has been known to not only take away muscle pain by drawing blood to the affected area, it reduces soreness and speeding healing of overworked muscles.  According to New York Times, “Athletes who use it swear by it, saying it keeps them injury free and speeds recovery “

By: Ida L




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