Oriental Cupping Therapy

Oriental Cupping (Chinese Cupping) uses cups from cupping sets as a traditional form of pain and healing therapy that stimulates circulation through the tissues.

According to Michael Gaeta, president of the Acupuncture Society of New York, Cupping brings fresh blood to the area. So it tends to improve circulation. It also helps open up the chest and benefit the lungs and can even benefit menstrual problems and digestive problems, too. Most commonly, it’s used for aches and pains of various types as well as respiratory problems, cough, wheezing, things like that.”

Michael demonstrated the cupping therapy techniques on the back of one of his patients, who was lying on a treatment table. As Gaeta explained, “Cupping therapy is a treatment in which the practitioner creates suction in a cup. And then applies that cup to the body, which then draws the skin up around the cup, under the cup.” “It feels a bit strange,” the patient says. “Definitely doesn’t hurt. It just feels like someone’s pulling at your skin.” — Read below to find out more about cupping.

Cupping Therapy: What it Is
Oriental Cupping is an ancient Chinese method that uses cups from a cupping set to create a suction (or a partial vacuum) on the skin. This helps in activating the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing can take place much easier.

Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the ‘Meridians’ of the body. Meridians are the conduits in the body through which energy flows to every part of the body and through every organ and tissue. There are five meridians on the back that, when opened, allow invigorating energy to travel the whole length of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.

Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins. Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available. Cupping, the technique, is very useful and very safe and can be easily learned and incorporated into your family health practices.

The Primary Energizing Treatment
The Primary Engergizing Treatment consists of creating a suction for approximately 6-8 cups (or as many as fit) across the top of your back. It is best to first have your back rubbed with Olive Oil in order to make it easier to move the cups while keeping the suction in tact. These cups are in a line and are kept in place for approximately 1-3 minutes (for beginners). After a few minutes, each cup is moved straight down one cup length. Then wait another few minutes. This allows for your entire back to receive the treatment. Repeat the process until the cups from the top have gone all the way down your back. The cup in the middle should be directly over the spine. At the same time, one cup should be placed at the bottom of the spine near your tail bone. That one cup should be moved up (one cup length at a time) until it meets the other one coming down. At that time, remove the cup that was coming down your spine and let the one cup on your spine continue up until it reaches the top of your neck. The cups that had started at the top can continue to come down and stop at the bottom of your back or continue over your buttocks and down the back of your legs. A similar method down your stomach from the bottom of your rib cage is also helpful. If you have ever had a good back massage, then you know how relaxing that can be for tense muscles. One person described the feeling as the best back massage he’s ever had multiplied by 5.

Two Types of Cupping Therapies
“There are two forms of cupping therapy,” Gaeta told co-anchor Harry Smith. The traditional method uses fire. Gaeta held a cotton ball and wet it with alcohol. Then he ignited the soaked cotton ball and placed it in the cup. He says, “Fire cupping uses a flame to create suction in the cup – you’ll see a flame in the cup – and then, we’ll apply the cup to the body. The skin gets sucked up and rises under the cup as blood rushes up.”

The other uses a cupping pump that attaches to the top of the cup. With a few easy squeezes, the suction is created. The pump is taken off the cup and the cup is still able to keep the vacuum until it is released. No fire is needed in this method and it is very easy to control the amount of the suction with the hand held pump. It is also very easy to release the cup when needed.

With either method, the benefits come from the suction (or vacuum) that is created and not the form that you use. While some practitioners may prefer one method over another, it mainly boils down to the mechanics of doing the cupping. Some may be used to using the fire method, however the pump method is so easy (and doesn’t risk burning the patient) that our company only sells the cupping sets that use pumps. The other advantage to using the pump is that anyone can do it. Obviously, it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to do a complete treatment on your own back. So, having a partner, spouse, family member or someone is critical. But the cupping sets are designed for in home use by regular people.

Cupping Therapy Benefits (A Few More)
“Cupping brings fresh blood to the area, Gaeta says. “So it tends to improve circulation. It also helps open up the chest and benefit the lungs and can even benefit menstrual problems and digestive problems, too. Most commonly, it’s used for aches and pains of various types as well as respiratory problems, cough, wheezing, things like that.” “It feels a bit strange,” the patient says. “Definitely doesn’t hurt. It just feels like someone’s pulling at your skin.”

It’s been part of Chinese medicine for over 2,500 years. Originally, animal horn was the original cup. The horn method is the original thing. Later on brass, ceramic, bamboo cups were used. It looks like something out of medieval alchemy, but Gaeta says, it is just an alternate method of treatment. He adds, “There are very few conditions in which cupping should not be used, such as high fever, skin disease or tendency to bleed easily.”

Gwyneth Paltrow’s cupping therapy seems to have inspired Kate Winslet to try her hand at it for herself. According to The Mirror, Winslet had the treatment for a wrenched neck Kate said “I stood up and thought, ‘Aargh! That’s not right’. Then it got worse. So I had the cupping thing for it. You know, like Gwyneth.” She also added that she and her husband Sam Mendes know a good Chinese herbalist who does cupping on the affected part of the body. “The herbalist said: ‘You’re not going to be wearing anything with a low back soon, are you? Because there will be some marks. Not the same sort of marks as Gwyneth but there will be some’. It definitely has helped,” she added.

Cupping Marks
Cupping marks are temporary and can last several days. They look like round circular bruises. Although not everyone gets them, some people do get some marks. People who are using the pump method are able to control the amount of suction and should not try to create a suction so much that makes it uncomfortable. If the marks are a concern, then the cupping can be performed lighter. The whole process should be comfortable and energizing to the person being cupped. Although it is an ancient treatment, it is growing in popularity and many people are finding ways to use cupping for themselves to address their own health concerns.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

John McGimsey and Li Jie McGimsey
1168 S. Kings Drive
Charlotte, NC 28207
Charlotte Office:704-737-4412
Davidson Office:704-737-4412
Morganton Office:828-413-0567