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What is Cupping and how does it work?

Cupping is a traditional Chinese method in which special cups (our clinic uses glass cups) are placed on your skin to create suction. Our physicians or trained therapists heat the cups to create a vacuum by placing a burning cotton ball into the cup before placing the cups onto specific points on the body corresponding to various meridians. The suction created by the cups exerts negative pressure on the muscles which helps to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle aches and tension, and improve Qi flow along the meridians. After a session, patients usually report feeling light and relaxed.

History of cupping

Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

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The British Cupping Society says that cupping therapy is used to treat:

  • Blood disorders such as anaemia and haemophilia
  • Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Fertility and gynaecological disorders
  • Skin problems such as eczema and acne
  • High blood pressure
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
  • Varicose veins

*More research is needed to strengthen these claims

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cupping and how does it work?

Cupping is a traditional Chinese method in which special cups (our clinic uses glass cups) are placed on your skin to create suction. Our physicians or trained therapists heat the cups to create a vacuum by placing a burning cotton ball into the cup before placing the cups onto specific points on the body corresponding to various meridians. The suction created by the cups exerts negative pressure on the muscles which helps to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle aches and tension, and improve Qi flow along the meridians. After a session, patients usually report feeling light and relaxed.

What should you do after cupping?

Avoid showering 3 hours immediately after cupping as your pores are still open, making it easy for you to catch a cold. Stay away from exposure to strong wind and air conditioning. Lastly, drink more water and rest after cupping.

What do your cupping colours tell you?

Your cupping marks are an indication of your body condition, it tells us the level of Blood and Qi stagnation, toxin accumulation, or dampness accumulation in your body. In general, darker colour means more stagnation is present in that area.

Who should be cautious about receiving cupping treatment?

Patients taking blood-thinning medications; have blood-clotting issues; serious skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema should be careful. We recommend consulting a certified TCM physician before doing cupping.

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