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One of the main highlights in Rio 2016 Olympic Games was the United States competition swimmer, Michael Phelps, winning a record-breaking accumulated 23 gold medals as the highlight. However, there was a lot of buzz regarding the mysterious ‘red circle’ that can be seen on his sturdy build. These ‘red marks’ can also be found on his teammates – Chase Kalisz, Dana Vollmer, and USA gymnast Alex Naddour. These are bruises formed from cupping therapy.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy is often used in TCM (Tradition Chinese Medicine). Over centuries it is still used to this day both alone or in conjunction with acupuncture. Cupping is a basic healing method which consists of producing a vacuum by setting a cup-shaped glass on the skin. As a result, the cup produces suction on the skin, causing an increase in blood circulation to the injured area.
Cupping releases tight, painful muscles and increases blood circulation. In cupping therapy, the cups are put on the skin on certain points to encourage energy flow and left for a short length of time, 5 -15 minutes.
Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body system has energy pathways known as “Meridians”. The life force, known as Qi, flows freely along these meridians, and nourishes every organ, cell, and tissue along each pathway. Cupping therapy functions by minimizing the pain and inflammation which is associated with the limited energy flow of the Qi.
In fact, Cupping becomes more and more common in the western world, as it is a natural healing technique with only one side effect – the bruises after a cupping session which normally disappear within a week. Many celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Simpson are fans of cupping.
Cupping for Infertility in Woman
Cupping is beneficial for several health issues which include depression, congestion, cellulite, muscle pain, and even respiratory infections. However, cupping, specifically when used in conjunction with acupuncture, is useful for treating fertility issues, such as menstrual irregularities and endometriosis.
Blood stagnation takes place quite often in the lower abdomen and manifests as dysmenorrhea, cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis.
These are typically all challenges to getting pregnant and should be treated in an effort to have the best chance of conceiving. For this reason, acupuncturists make use of cupping treatment. Listed below are 3 main methods through which cupping can aid in conception:
Is cupping safe? Does it hurt?
Although cupping is regarded as relatively safe (specifically air cupping, which will not involve the possibility of fire and heat), it may result in some bruising and swelling on the skin. For the reason that skin underneath a cup is drawn up, the veins in the area of the skin expand. This can bring about small, spherical bruises on the parts in which the cups were used. These bruises tend to be painless, however, and vanish within a couple of days of therapy.
The position of the medicinal cups must be placed on body areas rich in muscles – these areas are usually shoulders, back, and thighs. As such, the patient will be less susceptible to internal bleeding and injuries. Cupping will cause the underlying skin microvascular veins to rupture, hence we must pay close attention in cleansing the affected areas – avoiding sweating and sterilizing the skin with alcohol.
Furthermore, you will discover a number of situations where cupping shouldn’t be conducted. People with infected skin; instances of convulsions or high fever; and people who bleed quickly are not ideal applicants for cupping. Expectant mothers should never have cupping on their abdomen or lower back. When the cups are being shifted, they should never cross bony parts, for instance, the shoulder blades or the ridges of the spine.