What is Cupping Therapy?
This first question is a freebie, Cupping Therapy is a Traditional Chinese therapy in which cups with negative pressure are placed on the skin. The negative pressure causes a suction to occur on the skin which pulls on the skin, muscle and fascia up into the cup. This action brings fresh oxygenated blood into the injured tissue. While at the same time pulling out old toxins and stagnant blood from the soft tissue, it is then recirculated and filtered out of the body.
Now that you are more acquainted with cupping therapy, there are a few questions you may have before going through with Cupping Therapy. Today I’ll be answering 5 of the more commonly asked questions patients ask prior to Cupping Therapy.
Does It Hurt?
Quite possibly the most common question asked before Cupping Therapy is whether it’s painful. No, it doesn’t really hurt. The truth is every patient experiences Cupping differently so it is difficult to give an absolute answer. Some patients feel the pulling of the soft tissue is uncomfortable and not very pleasant. On the other hand there are patients who find the experience soothing and relaxing like getting a massage. Depending on the stagnation of the tissue being treated you may experience some soreness. If for some reason you do feel pain, let the therapist know as they may need to adjust the strength of the suction on the cup in order to make the therapy more comfortable.
What are those Marks?
Once you are done with your Cupping Therapy session you’ll notice round marks left behind from the cups. Some people think they are bruises however, these marks can tell you how stagnated the treated tissue was. With darker marks meaning there was more stagnation. These marks can take one to two weeks to clear up depending on your body’s stagnation as well. Staying well hydrated can shorten the time for the marks to fade.
How do I Prepare for Cupping Therapy?
Firstly you should be hydrated. Cupping works with your lymphatic system to get rid of toxins and cellular waste from your body. In order for this to work properly plenty of water is required. Avoid shaving, exfoliating or anything else that can make your skin sensitive. Having sensitive skin can increase discomfort during a Cupping Therapy session and can cause you to have an overall poor experience.
Wear comfortable loose fitting clothes as once a Cupping Therapy session ends your skin may feel sensitive.
How Many Sessions do I Need?
It depends on the specific needs and goals of the patient. Cupping Therapy has an immediate effect on patients, and effects can last for days after. If you are just looking to detoxify, a single session every month may be enough. On the other hand an active and athletic person may require more frequent sessions. Feel free to ask the helpful staff at SOHMA if you would benefit from frequent Cupping Therapy sessions.
Is Cupping Therapy Safe?
For the vast majority of patients, yes. It is unusual and rare for Cupping Therapy to cause any serious problems. Side effects are limited to the marks left behind after Cupping Therapy though in extremely rare cases skin infections can occur. Precaution is necessary if you have suffered from recent cardiac arrests, have been fasting for long periods of time or if you are pregnant.
If you still have questions regarding Cupping Therapy be sure to ask your therapist at SOHMA Integrative Medicine of Long Beach and Lakewood CA if Cupping Therapy is right for you.
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