Chinese Fire Cupping is a traditional form of healing, dating back thousands of years to China and ancient Egypt where images of spherical glass cups were carved in stone in the tombs of the Pharaohs. They have been used every century since then especially in Europe in the Middle Ages. Cups were still being used by Doctors a century ago in North America where they were part of their normal medical equipment and tools carried in their bags to visit patients.
What use are they and what do these cups do?
Negative pressure is created within the glass sphere by the introduction of a lighted taper, usually a cotton ball soaked in 97% rubbing alcohol, inside the cup. The lighted taper is removed and the cup then swiftly placed on the site that has been pre-selected on the body. The cup adheres to the skin’s surface, drawing tissue up into the cup as well as attracting body fluids in large quantities to the site. The fluids are blood and lymph. Blood saturates the tissue underneath the cups. This is especially useful over ‘knots’ in sore, tired, aching muscles where the blood has been squeezed out of the muscle through increased tension. This newly accumulated oxygenated blood bathes the muscle deep to its core, lubricating fibres and contributing to the healing of the tissue. Lymph removes the painful build-up of lactic acid in the muscle also. These physiological changes brought about by cupping decrease tension in the muscle and restore blood, thereby relaxing it.
This technique can be used on other areas of the body not just on muscles. For example, it can be used to promote digestion through the large colon. Cups placed strategically over the ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid colon stimulate a process called peristalsis. Peristalsis requires a large quantity of blood to propel food matter through the digestive tract’s muscular walls. Without blood peristalsis shuts down and food is left to accumulate instead of passing along the digestive tract. This causes blockages and is brought about by stress. Stress automatically shunts blood from the body’s organs in the core of the body to the arms and legs (fight or flight syndrome) during emergencies. This ‘primitive survival’ technique helped us when we were ‘hunters and gatherers’ and in times of real emergency today as well. However, our bodies cannot recognize and detect just ‘real’ emergencies. They shunt blood from the core of the body if we are late for work, agitated about a personal relationship, frustrated about money etc. Because life in this modern age creates many stressors, the organ tissues in the core of our body are left bereft of blood and do not perform the way they are supposed to. Restoring blood to the colon, therefore, stimulates the digestive system to function normally once more. Cupping can promote the respiratory system and the reproductive system.
Cups are also used to massage the body. Cups slide and glide along the oiled surface of the body transferring tissue inside the cup as it is moved. This feels wonderful – like a deep massage but from the inside out! This therapeutic treatment relaxes muscles and restores internal organ function like no other form of therapy can.
This ancient therapy of the Pharoahs and the Ming Dynasty is available as a ‘stand-alone’ treatment, or may be incorporated into your regular massage session at no extra charge. Just ask and you shall receive.