TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Cupping therapy, also known as “BaguanFa,” is used extensively by some acupuncturists and has therapeutic benefits for many conditions, such as sports injuries, high blood pressure, headaches, fibromyalgia, digestive issues and cosmetic concerns.
How does it work?
Cupping is the application of glass, rubber or plastic cups to the surface of the skin, by creating a vacuum via a method called “fire cupping” or “suction pump cupping.”
Cups can be placed on many different parts of the body as indicated, however, it is most commonly done on the back. Creating a state of localized “negative pressure” (suction) on the skin and tissues, a deep myo-fascial release occurs, delivering more Qi and blood to localized tissues, releasing toxins, drawing out blood stasis, activating the lymph and circulatory systems, and alleviating musculo-skeletal pain.
The energy meridian systems are opened up to re-establish a healthy balance in the mind-body continuum, and the negative pressure also has the benefit of inducing a natural deep relaxation by engaging the para-sympathetic nervous system.
Following a cupping treatment, circles from the cups may appear on the body, varying in color from pink to dark purple. This is an indication of toxins and stagnant blood being drawn to the surface and will disappear within a few days. It is important to drink a lot of water (at least eight big glasses) for 24 hours following the treatment. This will help the toxins flush out of the system more quickly. Taking an ionic magnesium supplement will also enhance efficient detoxification.
What conditions does cupping treat?
Orthopedic and sports injuries: Benefits may include increased joint mobility, decreased pain, overall improved muscle performance.
Detoxification and weight loss: Anyone doing a detox and/or weight loss program may benefit greatly from regular cupping sessions, by increasing the flow of Qi and blood, toxins are released to the surface and then eliminated effectively.
Pain: Pain anywhere in the body is usually greatly decreased or eliminated completely, by removing Qi and blood stasis and detoxifying the tissues. This can be in the form of back, knee, hip, foot, shoulder – pain, headaches or muscular pain.
Abdominal and digestive problems: Any pain, constipation, abdominal distention or bloating, IBS, — even scar tissue (internal or external) from surgeries — can be improved with regular cupping therapy. If constipation is an issue, most patients report an increase of elimination shortly after. Cupping the abdominal area stretches the walls of the organs, sloughing off excess waste and mucus and regulate digestive functions.
Cellulite: Cupping can greatly reduce the appearance of cellulite by increasing circulation of Qi and blood and removing toxins.
Facial cupping: Fine lines, puffiness, sagging and a dull, lifeless complexion are all a result of lack of Qi and blood circulation to the face. In combination with acupuncture facial treatments, cupping can help release tension in deep facial musculature as well as bringing more Qi and blood to the surface tissues, to help improve overall appearance.
Find Anne and Volodar and their cupping technique at The Sanctuary (next to Soule Domain), 205 Stateline Road in Kings Beach. Visit www.earthspiritacupuncture.com or call 775-301-7210.
Contributed by Anne Kuzyk, licensed acupuncturist and Volodar Kuzyk, licensed acupuncturist.