Cupping

Fire Cupping Relaxation Massage

Cupping

Get rid of the image in your mind of someone drinking down a cup full of fiery liquid. Fire cupping is a simple technique used by acupuncturists as an alternative treatment, but the story of fire cupping is a little more colorful.

Fire cupping has been prevalent in many forms of medicine around the world for centuries. A fire cup is simply a cup held upside down and the air inside of it heated.
Once the air is hot the cup is applied to the soft tissue of the body. As the air cools rapidly in the cup, it shrinks in size, pulling the soft tissue up into the cup with a vacuum. The rim of the cup seals against the body.In some of the old versions of fire cupping the suction was applied after a small incision was made to allow the drawing out of blood. This is not the common form of fire cupping which was practiced in China, or which is used by acupuncturists. This form of cupping was used during the era of balancing bile, blood, and phlegm.

You may be wondering what is fire cupping’s purpose for an acupuncturist? Acupuncture and acupressure both use techniques to stimulate collections of nerves and to stimulate blood flow to certain areas of the body. This is the same process used in Shiatsu massage which stimulates the body through deep massage at sites of nerve clusters. Fire cupping reverses the process, and instead of applying inward, or downward pressure, applies an outward pressure to the body. This outward pressure draws blood to the area, and stimulates the underlying nerves.

Cupping by acupuncturists does not always involve fire. Many practitioners have switched to using vacuum cups. These simple cups can apply the same pressure without the need for using fire in the office. Other practitioners feel the use of the fire gives a more natural and mentally relaxing component to the process, and aids in the overall healing process.

As you can imagine, using fire requires the person applying the cups be very careful. They need to heat the air, but not heat the cup too hot. When properly done there is almost no risk of being burned during a session. The biggest negative side effect is the marks you may be left with. It is possible to end up with marks similar to a hickey, or kiss mark. You have seen the marks left behind by a overzealous boyfriend or girlfriend, and a similar mark is possible on your body with the cupping process.

When used properly fire cupping is a great addition to an acupuncturist’s techniques. Instead of stimulating blood flow and nerves with needles or pressure they use gentle suction. If you are interested in trying cupping, it is best to consult a trained acupuncturist, and not attempt this at home. Unless you are extremely cautious it is possible to burn yourself, and destroy the experience. Forget about those ancient techniques of using cupping to let blood, explore the real benefits with cupping for acupuncture quality relief. To answer the question, “What is fire cupping?”, it is a great method to get physical relief, without the needles.

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