what the heck is cupping?

cupping2[via]

Have you heard of this?  My mother recently came to visit me in Phoenix and I noticed a round, purple-ish area on the back of her shoulder and I couldn’t imagine what she had done!  When I asked, she replied, “Cupping!”……..like I was supposed to know what the heck that was!

Turns out, cupping is pretty popular and has been around forever!  It is a practice where a small cup first has a flame that is used to heat the inside of the cup.  Then the cup is placed on the skin (nope, it doesn’t burn you) on your back.  The lack of pressure in the cup creates a vacuum that slightly pulls the skin and muscle tissue into the cup. This suction draws stagnant blood and fluid to the surface where the body can more easily remove it. Instead of compressing, pushing, or stripping the body tissue against bone structure and against itself, like when you get a normal massage, cupping allows the person to pull the body tissue out and away from the body. Cupping is a classic deep tissue massage technique in reverse!

OUCHIE!  DOES IT HURT? (mom says no)

According to Acupuncture Today, “While cupping is considered relatively safe (especially air cupping, which does not include the risk of fire and heat), it can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand. This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, however, and disappear within a few days of treatment.

In addition, there are several instances where cupping should not be performed. Patients with inflamed skin; cases of high fever or convulsions; and patients who bleed easily, are not suitable candidates for cupping. Pregnant women should not have cupping on their stomach or lower back. If the cups are being moved, they should not cross bony areas, such as the ridges of the spine or the shoulder blades.”

This is the new rage with some celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham, to name a few….but if MY MOM says it works…….THEN, PEOPLE….IT WORKS!!

You can check out some videos on YouTube.  It’s pretty creepy, so I didn’t post one.  But hey, even Jackie Chan did it in the Karate Kid remake!  So!  There you go!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “what the heck is cupping?

  1. Wow — your MOM is doing this? You’ll need to try it and let us know what you think. I’m still in favor of massage 🙂

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  2. I had cupping done years ago. Not sure that it was effective for me, but have heard from others who found it very good. I still like a good strong massage! I wouldn’t recommend putting a bikini on after a session though 🙂

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