Why should I try head therapy

Cupping: that's behind it!

What does cupping do?

Cupping is one of the oldest apparatus-based therapy methods. It evolved into almost every ancient medical culture. However, there are very different ideas about the effects of cupping. They range from the idea of ​​restoring a disturbed balance of body fluids, to channel harmful or pathogenic substances out of the body, to the idea of ​​harmonizing the life energy "Qi" with cupping.

The most common explanation for the effectiveness of cupping is a long-term improvement in blood flow to certain parts of the body. The metabolism and lymph flow in this area benefit from this. The influence on internal organs is explained by the connection of certain reflex zones with the organs, as described, for example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

How is cupping used?

Cupping works with the help of cupping glasses made of glass or plastic. They usually have a spherical shape with a diameter of about two to eight centimeters. If a negative pressure is created in it, the skin is sucked into the attached glass. The negative pressure is generated by special pumping devices on the cupping vessels or by burning some cotton wool in the cupping glass beforehand.

Cupping is an easy treatment method to use. Easy-to-use cupping heads can be purchased from specialist retailers. After a short instruction, many people use cupping at home to treat simple tension and muscle pain or for cosmetic reasons.

Naturopaths and doctors often use cupping as part of a naturopathic treatment.

Preliminary examinations for cupping

A naturopath or doctor will perform an in-depth physical exam prior to cupping. The practitioner looks for swellings, retractions, asymmetries and other changes in the skin. Then he scans the body with certain movements in order to be able to assess the blood flow and the condition of the muscles.

The therapist decides where cupping glasses are placed either on the basis of the results of the examination or he cups the painful part of the body directly.

In TCM, certain acupuncture points are cupped. How often and how long the cupping takes depends on the type of cupping and the course of the treatment.

Cupping Methods

There are three different cupping methods. However, only the bloodless, dry procedure is suitable for self-treatment:

Bloodless, dry cupping

The skin is sucked into the cupping glass by means of negative pressure. As a result, the tissue is supplied with more blood and red blood cells emerge. Cupping causes bruises, redness and swelling. In addition, the skin overheats at the cupping point. The cupping heads remain on the treated area for a maximum of 15 minutes. If bruises form beforehand or the glasses fall off, cupping will be stopped.

Bloody cupping

In the case of bloody cupping, the therapist first disinfects the skin. Then he scratches it with a thin needle. After the cupping vessels have been put on, blood comes out and is caught in the cupping vessels. This should improve the flow properties of blood and lymph.

Some practitioners see bloody cupping as a way of removing harmful substances from the body. In addition, the pain caused by the scratching should have a stronger influence on the internal organs via reflex pathways.

With this procedure, too, the cupping heads remained in place for a maximum of 15 minutes. If no more blood escapes, the bloody cupping can also be stopped beforehand.

Cupping massage

The cupping massage is a variant of bloodless cupping. The practitioner moves the cupping glasses back and forth over areas of skin that have been oiled or creamed. So the effect of a cupping treatment is to be combined and strengthened with the effects of a connective tissue massage.

The cupping massage causes red, streaky skin discoloration. Since the cupping massage is painful, the treatment usually only takes a few minutes.

What does cupping help against?

Cupping is used to treat a wide variety of health problems. The back, arms, and legs are most commonly treated with cupping. Here, cupping is mostly used against pain and tension, especially by those affected themselves.

Areas of application cupping

The following list shows the different areas of application of cupping:

  • Muscle tension
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shoulder arm syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Lumbago
  • a headache
  • Nerve pain
  • Indigestion
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • high blood pressure
  • depressive moods
  • Listlessness
  • Liver and gall bladder problems
  • asthma

Cosmetic cupping

Some also use the procedure for cosmetic reasons. The blood circulation and metabolism stimulating effect of cupping is supposed to improve the skin structure. Face cupping is said to have a skin-tightening, wrinkle-reducing effect. Since the skin on the face is very sensitive, sensitivity is required. Others try to smooth out cellulite through cupping.

Does cupping have its dangers and side effects?

In general, this treatment method has hardly any side effects: Cupping is usually very well tolerated. Cupping almost always results in bruises, which are desirable and part of the treatment. These bruises or streaks will remain visible for a long time, often several days after cupping. But pain afterwards is rare. If they do occur, they are no worse than mild muscle soreness.

If you want to cup any visible parts of the body, especially the face, you should work with special cupping vessels. Bloody cupping should generally only be carried out by a trained practitioner, as strict hygienic precautions must be taken here.

When to avoid cupping

However, there are some restrictions where you can forego cupping or that cupping should only be carried out by a therapist:

  • when taking blood thinners
  • if there is an increased tendency to bleed
  • in the case of acute inflammations or injuries to the skin
  • with allergic changes in the skin
  • in generalized edema and severe heart disease
  • after radiation therapy
  • for skin changes after a cortisone treatment
  • during pregnancy

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