Cupping and Acupuncture
Cupping and Acupuncture
Cupping is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that includes Acupuncture. While in China, you will find medical doctors using cupping in hospital settings; here in Chicago, Acupuncturists are the providers that use cupping to help their patients feel better for muscle pain and internal complaints (such as asthma).
If you are looking for cupping, you may also see that Physical Therapists and Massage Therapists use cupping; these providers generally limit cupping to treating musculoskeletal complaints exclusively. Cupping to treat muscle pain is a highly effective treatment that is gaining popularity.
Because acupuncture cupping can treat symptoms other than muscle pain, it is slightly different from other cupping forms. Acupuncture cupping is widely accepted in many practice settings around Chicago and worldwide. In our office, our acupuncturists are experts at performing cupping for both muscle pain and internal complaints (like asthma).
Cupping is One of Several Tools Acupuncturists Use to Help Our Patients Feel Better
Traditionally when you think of Acupuncture, needles may be the first thing that comes to mind, and needles are the most common tool used by many acupuncturists in Chicago. Still, other tools or modalities can also be used, such as an acupuncture cupping set. Cupping can be used alone to treat a patient or in conjunction with acupuncture needles, gua sha, moxa, or herbs.
Cupping at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago
Acupuncture cupping involves using small pneumatic or silicone cups to apply a slight amount of suction to specific points on the body. Generally, light oil (massage oil) is applied to the area first so that the acupuncturist can easily glide the cups over the area being worked on. This stimulates blood flow and promotes healing by increasing the oxygen supply to the treated area.
Why Does Acupuncture Cupping Work
There are several theories as to why acupuncture cupping works. One medical theory suggests that when the skin is slightly suctioned and massaged, it creates a sensation that stimulates nerves in the area. Another TCM theory suggests that heat helps to open up blocked energy (Qi) channels in the body.
Acupuncture Cupping Benefits
Cupping has the function of warming and promoting the flow of qi and blood in the meridians, dispelling cold dampness, and diminishing swelling and pain. The acupuncture cupping method mainly treats bi syndrome caused by wind dampness, such as pain in the back, shoulders, hips, and legs—gastrointestinal disorders like stomachache, vomiting, or diarrhea—and respiratory symptoms related to congestion, coughing, and asthma.
Cupping can be combined with acupuncture needles in specific treatments where the muscular tension is severe. Cupping is used first to decrease the tension, and acupuncture needles are used afterward to reinforce the healing process further.
Other practical methods include cupping to eliminate toxins stored in our bodies muscle and fat tissue.
What does Cupping Acupuncture Feel Like?
Most patients describe the feeling as suction cups or pressure on the skin that is warm and pleasantly comfortable. After cupping, there may be a bruise in the local area; this is normal and will disappear within a few days. Multiple treatments may be needed depending on the discoloration after each treatment. Benefits are achieved when discoloration no longer surfaces during the cupping treatment.
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