Jennifer Aniston, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been photographed sporting the tell-tale marks of cupping therapy but what’s all the hype about?
Cupping therapy is a method of treatment often employed in Traditional Chinese Medicine. During cupping, small glass/plastic cups or bamboo jars are used to create suction and applied to the skin. Once skin contact has been established, the superficial layer of muscles is drawn into the cup to apply gentle pressure and the cups can be gently moved over the skin. Cups are often left stationary on areas of the body corresponding to acupuncture points or on areas of pain or muscle tension.
The suction created by cupping is used to relax tight muscles, increase circulation and blood flow, and calm the nervous system. It is also used to relieve back and neck pain, anxiety, migraines, abdominal cramps (especially those related to PMS) acute coughs and colds (to clear congestion), asthma, and high blood pressure. Cupping is a great tool to add to weight loss treatments as it can help to break down fat deposits and reduce the appearance of cellulite by improving lymphatic drainage and detoxification.
While cupping is not painful, the recipient commonly walks away with circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. Relief usually lasts for several days and chronic conditions typically require more frequent treatments to bring about lasting benefits.