Cupping is not just a therapy that is used as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been found depicted in Egyptian drawings, African artefacts and was widely used in America and Europe up until the 19th century.
Cupping can be used in many therapeutic ways, for pin & injury and generl health improvements.
There are 3 main ways of cupping with some differences within these;
Dry or Suction Cupping – probably the most commonly used nowadays, this form of cupping uses suction created by a hand held pump. The cups are made of strong plastic, which can easily been cleaned or are rubber/silicone which are squeezed to create the suction.
Fire Cupping – this method of cupping uses glass cups. The practitioner uses a piece of cotton wool which is soaked in 95% alcohol, the cotton wool is lit and when it is placed under the cup and then very quickly removed it creates a vacuum on the skin – not used at ENA.
Wet Cupping – with this method the practitioner pricks the skin with a specialised tool to make numerous very small punctures. When the cups are applied blood is sucked up into the cups. This method uses glass cups which can easily be sterilised after use – not used at ENA.
All of the above methods can be used as Static cups, this simple means the cups are applied at one location and left there for a period of time usually between 5 and 25 mins depending on the condition we are treating and the desired outcome. Dry cupping and Fire cupping can also be applied using the Moving cupping method, this means that the cups will be applied and then moved over the skin, in a massage type way to improve circulation for facial treatments and well-being.
At EAST Norwich Acupuncture I only use the Dry Cupping method either as Static or Moving cups depending on the condition. For general well-being, pain & injury treatments I use plastic cups and a hand held pump and for facial treatments I use small soft flexible silicone cups.
Treatment Options -
Tonifying – this means we aim to use the cups as a tonic to the system, strengthening and improving the function of the organs or improving Qi & Blood circulation. We can vary the strength of the cups accordingly -
‘weak’ - for very deficient patients, the client should not feel any discomfort or pain, and there should be no bruising or blistering but could be some slight reddening of the area. This strength of cupping can be used anywhere on the body and on children under the age of 7
‘medium’ - for those with stronger energies but still need tonifying. There could be some light bruising which would lonely last a couple of days. This strength can be used for children over 7
Draining – this means we aim to strongly influence Qi & Blood and also we use this when we wish to eliminate internal/external pathogens and severe stagnation.
‘strong’ - is only used where the client has strong Qi and requires this action to remove excessive amounts of Heat or pathogenic factors. There could be some very dark purple bruises appear which may last a number of days. This method should be introduced slowly, building up over a number of treatments. It is not suitable for children under 14 years old, during pregnancy or the for very frail or weak patients. Not suitable on the face, stomach or abdomen.
- Lower back pain
- Common cold & flu
- Muscular pain & injury