Cupping is a traditional Chinese medicine technique used to promote movement of qi (the body’s energy) and blood to enhance healing. Cupping is a great way to help issues such as pain and muscle strain, as well as the prevention and treatment of colds and flus.
Cupping uses glass cups (as shown in the picture) to create a suction effect on the body. The application of heat in the cup helps create a vacuum on the body, which penetrates into the area of the body that needs attention. For example, for low back pain, cups might be placed on both sides of the spine (cups are not placed over bone) and moved along the muscles and/or placed stationary on the points of pain.
Cupping can also be used to release toxins in the body. This is helpful for people fighting a cold or flu, and can also help those with respiratory issues.
Some patients describe cupping as feeling like a deep tissue massage. Kerri makes every attempt to keep the patient comfortable during cupping, making sure the suction is not too strong.
The cups vary in size, ranging from very small to large. In modern times, cups can be either glass or plastic, and suction can be created with heat or pumps (electric or manual). Kerri uses glass cups and heat (from fire).
Though this is not a painful procedure, it can cause marks on the body that resemble bruises, lasting from 1 day to 1 week.
Not every patient is a candidate for cupping. Kerri will discuss whether or not this technique is appropriate for you after your initial appointment.