Did you know…that an alternative, needle-free kind of acupuncture can cure chronic pain and ensure good health by optimizing circulation?
An Eastern acupuncture therapy called fire cupping may sound like medieval alchemy, but it is actually quick…painless…and extraordinarily effective for a range of health conditions, including severe muscle stiffness and arthritis.
What Is Fire Cupping?
Cupping is a traditional Chinese therapy used to treat illnesses and imbalances for over 2,500 years. Originally, the “cups” were made from animal horns, and practitioners used their own lips to create suction.
According to Michael Gaeta, president of the Acupuncture Society of New York, there are two predominant forms of modern cupping therapy. In both, a practitioner creates suction in a cup, applies the cup to the patient’s body, and in response to the suction, blood rushes to the area and the skin at the contact site is “sucked up” into the cup.
Newer methods of cupping use mechanical devices to create the suction. The more traditional method, however, creates suction by applying heat to the cup—such as from a lighted candle—hence the name “fire cupping”.
Usually, a number of suctioning cups are applied to the patient’s skin for several minutes and then removed. While cupping is not considered painful, it may leave round red marks on the skin for a day or more. One way to think of cupping is to compare it to a massage, but in reverse: the cups pull your muscles up, rather than pushing them down.
Ultimately, fire cupping brings the same relief from body aches and pains that a deep massage would offer. However, cupping takes less than half the time—just 5 to 15 minutes!
Relief from Even the Most Extreme Pain and Stiffness
Teresa Shen, L.Ac, O.M.D, doctor of Chinese Medicine at the Eastern Medical Center in Pleasanton, California, describes the benefits of fire cupping in severe cases of arthritis and muscles stiffness. For example, Dr. Shen has seen cupping restore comfort and mobility in patients who were so stiff they couldn’t even bend forward.
These patients felt more relaxed and flexible than they had been in years.
Yet, the benefits of fire cupping go much deeper than muscles. This therapy can improve circulation…boost your immune system…and stimulate energy flow and better overall health.
Deeper than Deep Tissue…Fire Cupping Gets Your Blood Moving Toward Optimal Health
Fire cupping’s most potent impact by far is its tried-and-true ability to optimize circulation.
Increased blood flow to all areas of your body provides a number of important health improvements, from cell growth and organ function to the appearance of your skin. Red blood circulates oxygen throughout your body, and the more efficiently that happens, the better you’ll look and feel.
By bringing fresh blood to the surface of your skin, cupping can:
- Open the chest and lungs
- Alleviate menstrual cramps
- Diminish digestive problems
- Clear up coughs, wheezing and other respiratory problems
- Halt migraines
- Manage acute and chronic pain
Western medicine has begun to recognize the benefits of fire cupping for specific ailments such as pain. However, the Eastern medicine tradition from which fire cupping originates is holistic, meaning that it approaches the body as a whole and views specific conditions as signs of larger imbalances.
Fire cupping promotes wellness in 4 major ways:
- Warms the body and allows Qi (vital energy or life force) and blood to flow freely
- Clears dampness from the body
- Reduces pain and swelling
- Rids body of any generally toxic elements
So while fire cupping is a great one-time treatment for many common conditions—it’s also a wonderful way to maintain your overall health. Along with proper diet and exercise, cupping offers a relaxing means of keeping yourself healthy. It can be performed on a monthly basis, or as a complement to other detoxification programs.
Most licensed acupuncturists and some health spas offer fire cupping treatment. To find a good acupuncturist in your area, the Acupuncture Society (800) 257-6876 and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (703) 548-9004 are good referral services.