We plan to introduce Chinese cupping therapy at East West Lodge in early 2018.
Chinese Cupping (bá guànr 拔罐儿)
Traditional Chinese Cupping is a fantastic technique that provides a number of benefits and can improve your health. It is an excellent deep-tissue therapy as it reaches into tissues several inches deep below the skin.
Chinese Cupping was developed thousands of years ago and is still used widely throughout China today. One of the earliest records of the use of cupping is in “A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies” (zhǒu hòu bèi jí fāng肘后备急方), written in 300 A.D. by Ge Hong (葛洪), a Taoist herbalist.
Cupping is like a reverse massage. Instead of pressure being applied to your muscles, suction pressure is used to pull your skin, tissue and muscles upward.
In cupping, around a dozen or so glass or plastic cups are placed on your back and shoulders along the five meridian lines on the back. Using either fire or a suction pump, a vacuum is created. The skin and superficial muscle layer under each cup is partially sucked up into the cup. The cups are usually left on for about five to 10 minutes.
Cupping has many benefits. It can help extract toxins from the body and stimulate the flow of blood, lymph, and Qi to. It can even help alleviate symptoms of the flu, colds, coughs, back and muscle pain, poor circulation, anxiety, red itchy skin conditions (cups are not put directly on inflamed areas), allergies, fevers, aches and myriad other pains.
Chinese Cupping is used to:
- Remove excess “heat”, “cold” or moisture from the body
- Stimulate Qi (气)
- Pull out toxins
- Improve blood circulation
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Promote relaxation
- Treat acne
- Relieve muscle aches
- Open meridian channels
- Clear congestion
- Alleviate symptoms of asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis
Most people find the cupping sensation relaxing and soothing. Some people may feel mild discomfort. You will feel a tight sensation in the area of each cup. Under each of the cups, your skin will turn purple but will turn back to normal in a few days or a week. You should avoid taking a bath or shower or swimming for 3 to 5 hours after cupping.
Vouching for the benefits of cupping are a slew of celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson, Lady Gaga and Victoria Beckham.
Athletes also regularly use cupping. Chinese Olympic swimmer Wang Qun displayed her cupping marks at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Tennis champion Andy Murray uses cupping to relieve stiffness and to help with a back injury. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mets baseball players use cupping, a trend that started their teammate Daisuke Matsuzaka appeared in the locker room with cupping marks. The 33-year-old started cupping about two years ago and was quoted in WSJ saying, “As an athlete, I want to play as long as possible, in order to do that, I need to find ways to protect my body. I’m always looking for something that might be better.”
But cupping is not just for movie stars and athletes, it’s highly beneficial for just about everyone.
Cupping should not be used on patients who bleed easily and/or cannot stop bleeding, have skin ulcers, or edema. It is unwise to cup over large blood vessels as well. Pregnant women should be cupped with extreme caution and never on their abdomen or lower back.
Imagine if one day, your children could go to a doctor in your home country who uses the best of both pharmaceutical and indigenous medicines and healing methodologies. East West Lodge works to contribute to the development of modern medicine toward this more holistic approach.
We foresee a major advancement in medicine in the not so distant future, when the best of Western pharmaceutical medicine, Amazonian medicine and Chinese medicine and treatments are fully integrated, bringing more holistic healing to humanity.