There's no doubt about it, cupping is becoming more mainstream by the day. Earlier this week, we talked about how cupping works according to Chinese Medicine. Now it's time to answer the question: what are the benefits?
Cupping is popular because it's effective and it feels great, which keeps patients coming back for more. Chinese Medicine is all about balancing the body internally, so it's no surprise that often when patients come in for one particular reason, they capture a wider range of benefits than they had ever imagined.
Here are 5 reasons to consider adding cupping to your wellness routine.
1) Reduces Pain
Although cupping might sound great but it is believed to have many physiological effects and mechanisms that trigger analgesic effects. As backed by the research, studies (from a systematic review—the highest-quality level of research) validate its effectiveness in managing acute and chronic pain. So what is it good for? Cupping is perfect for stubborn neck/back/shoulder pain, sports injuries, sore/tight muscles and headaches (particularly tension-type headaches that primarily originate from chronically tight upper back/neck muscles).
2) Reduces Stress & Emotional Tension
It should be no surprise that stress and unprocessed emotions create tension in our bodies. Stress is often a causative or contributing factor for chronic health conditions from anxiety and depression to allergic sensitivities, digestive disorders, and adrenal fatigue. I work with so many patients who hold stress, past traumas, and deep-seated emotions in their bodies in different ways, but the most common sources of tension are the neck, shoulders, and back. In Chinese Medicine, our emotions have physical effects on the circulation of Qi and blood in the muscles and meridians to flow freely, cupping relieves symptoms of physical tension by alleviating the negative emotions attached to them. I commonly practice cupping on patients with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and physical pain resulting from emotional tension mainly due to this reason.
3) Improves the Immune System
According to the “The Medical Perspective of Cupping: Effects and Mechanisms of Action” (2017), cupping benefits the immune system by initiating “artificial local inflammation” that signals the body to release antibodies and phagocytic cells that “engulf” and clear damaged cells from an organism, therefore “giving it a protective role by increasing immunity.” The study also cites how cupping effects the thymus glad to improve lymphatic flow and increases the level of interferon and tumor-necrotizing factor which both have therapeutic outcomes for patients with auto-immune diseases.
4) Reduces Congestion
Cupping was originally used for pulmonary tuberculosis way back in the day (thousands of years ago), but it still holds a therapeutic role in arresting coughs, relieving chest congestion, and helps to eradicate excess mucus resulting from allergies and other respiratory problems. When cupping is done over the upper back, it benefits the lungs by creating space for deeper breathing while loosening stubborn phlegm, making it easier to expect.
5) Improves Recovery Time
Recreational and competitive athletes will praise how cupping reduces recovery times and lets you perform at the level you want to be. Besides, cupping is not meant only for situation when your body is tapped out. I work with lifters, baseball players, runners, and MMA fighters who enjoy getting cupping as a preventative to stave off soreness, maintain mobility, and get a prolonged stretch in muscles that are chronically tight.
Have you tried cupping?How has it helped to you meeting your health goals?
Dr. Lauren Dyer, DACM, L.Ac., was inspired to study Acupuncture by how Acupuncture promoted wellness instead of just combating disease, and how it took a person's lifestyle, diet, and even psychology into account while treating the underlying factors contributing to imbalance for sustainable relief. Lauren is passionate about bridging the gaps in understanding between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Bio-medical paradigms, and she incorporates current research and evidence-based approaches into her practice.You can learn more about Lauren at https://empowerchiroacu.com.