Cupping is not just for Olympians, by acupuncturist Rebecca Bond at Broadwater Osteopaths, Worthing
You may remember watching the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and some of the other athletes having small circular red marks (about the size of a gold medal) on their shoulders and backs. Or perhaps while frock watching Gwyneth Paltrow or Jennifer Aniston on the red carpet you may recall seeing similar marks.
The marks are not bruises or broken capillaries but show where they have had the ancient practice of cupping done.
Cupping is a therapy that uses cups made out of bamboo, glass or plastic to suction and create pressure by adhering to various areas of the body. It is effective to treat common colds, alleviate muscular pain and reducing swelling.
There are various types of cupping – sliding cupping where you move the cups up and down a muscle for example on the outside of your thigh on a tight IT band to release it. Or quick cupping where you pump or heat a cup in position and remove it quickly at specific points.
Many cultures have been found to use this ancient practice so it is not just common to acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners.
Records show that it was first commonly used to relieve respiratory conditions especially at the start of a cold or flu to boost the immune system, remove toxins, clear congestion or to help with asthma.
Cupping is a deep tissue treatment which is very effective for where there are tight muscles or injury, either chronic or traumatic to the muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as the fascia. It is said to have an effect up to 4 inches deep from the skin.
It draws fresh blood and lymph to the tissue to accelerate the healing process. It increases blood flow and circulation to the areas being cupped as well as promoting the release of toxins from the body. It stretches and activates the skin, releasing knots or adhesions and clearing blockages. It can help improve restricted function and mobility where there are scar tissue adhesions forming.
For this reason, many athletes have chosen cupping to help with their recovery and deal with tight muscles and muscular pain as well as release any toxins to be at the top of their game and fitness.
How often should I have cupping done?
An athlete like Michael Phelps can have it done every week but for most people it would be recommended to have it done every 4 weeks. If you have a cold or flu, then you might have it done twice in a week. It works best when used with other healing therapies such as acupuncture. It should always be carried out by a trained practitioner because if they are left on too long, it can be detrimental to a person with a compromised immune system or a person with an autoimmune disease or cancer for example.
Many clients like it because it feels like a deep soothing massage and it releases their tight muscles, so it is not just for top athletes. So why not give it a try? Call Rebecca at Broadwater Osteopathic Practice 01903 820206 to find out more or to book an appointment.