Cupping Therapy

The Primary Energizing Treatment consists of creating a suction of approximately 6-14 cups across your back. It is best to first have your back massaged with oil in order for cups to move 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. Repeating 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 is placed at the bottom of the spine near your tail bone. That cup is then moved up (one cup length at a time) until it meets the other one coming down. At that time, we remove the cup that is coming down your spine and move the cup on your spine continue up until it reaches the nape. The cups that had started at the superior aspect of the back continue to move down and stop at the low back or continue over your buttocks and down the back of your legs. A similar method is used on the stomach to the lowest aspect of the rib cage. If you have ever had a great massage, then you’re familiar with how relaxing it can feel and the relief it brings for muscle tension, one patient quoted as ''the best back massage he's ever had multiplied by five.''

Description and Side Effects

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine begin treatment by diagnosing a patient through inspection, observation, listening, smelling and palpation. TCM strives to balance and improve the flow of qi, or life energy, which travels throughout the body in channels called meridians. According to traditional Chinese medicine, illness is caused when qi does not move properly in the body. Acupuncturists are trained to determine where qi is stagnated, deficient or excessive.

Acupuncturists use cupping for specific problems in the flow of qi. Cupping disperses and moves qi by exerting suction and pressure. Cupping is used when the qi is blocked at certain points, or when qi needs to be drawn to the surface of the body from deep within. For instance, cupping is used to treat lung infections and colds, because it is believed that the suction disperses and energizes the qi that has become blocked and stagnated in the lungs. Cups can also pull out "wind-cold” and ‘’wind-heat'' that in Chinese medicine is the cause of lung infections.

Patients usually lie down for a cupping treatment. Cups are made of bamboo, strong glass or plastic. To create a vacuum, a flame from a lighter or a burning cotton ball is placed in an upside-down cup. When the oxygen in the cup is burned off, the cup is placed directly on the skin, where it is held in place by a surprisingly strong suction. Often, the skin inside the cup visibly rises. There are also cups available that use pumps instead of burning to create the proper suction. Cupping is generally a painless procedure.

More than one cup at a time may be used to cover an area thoroughly. Cups may be left in the same place for several minutes, or removed quickly and placed elsewhere. Cups are sometimes placed over acupuncture needles that have been inserted. Moving cupping may also be performed, by first rubbing the skin with a small amount of oil to allow the cups to slide around. After cupping, patients may remain lying down for several minutes. When cups are used to treat colds and lung infections, patients are advised to wrap up in blankets to stay warm after treatment. Acupuncturists may also prescribe herbal remedies, dietary changes, and other lifestyle recommendations.

Side effects

Cupping causes blood to be drawn to the surface of the skin, which can cause red marks, swelling, and bruising. If the practitioner is using cupping then this should be explained as a possible consequence of treatment.

Back to Top

Reflexology and Chart

Chinese reflexology is a part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is the ancient art of healing by working pressure points on the feet, hands and ears, where specific points reflect the body's corresponding channels, collaterals, organ system and thereby has the connecting reflexive method of treatment. By stimulating these specific points of reflex, it connects and adjusts the bodily function. It helps unblock the pathways by ridding the body of toxins and improving circulation. This restores the body's equilibrium of yin yang and encourages healing.


Back to Top