Cupping, a technique using suction, draws deeply held stagnation of blood, lymph and toxins to the surface of the skin. I use this for sore and strained muscles, painful periods, deep coughs, seasonal allergies, and early stage cold symptoms.
Cups come in a variety of styles. The most used are pump, fire, or silicone cups. Plastic or glass cups are placed on the skin, a device is attached to the top of the cup to remove some air. Fire cups, which I use most often, have a more dramatic flair. A flame removes air from the cup whcih is then quickly placed onto to skin. Silicone cups, which air is pressed out of with the practitioner’s hand, are easy to use.
The cups either remain stationary for no longer than 10 minutes or, if oil is applied to the area, can be moved over the skin in a technique aptly named sliding cupping. The process will feel a bit like a vacuum suction on the area.
Yes, I use spoons too. Gua Sha, a scraping technique with a Chinese soup spoon or other impliment, is mostly used to release a cold or pathogen from the body in the very early stage. I have also used it for releasing heat, and alleviating spinal and muscular pain. It can be applied to the insertion and origin of muscles for sports related injuries.
Both of these techniques will leave marks on the treated area ranging from pink to red to purplish. These are not bruises, but broken surface capillaries. No pain is elicited except occassionally mild muscular ache from deeply held stagnation.
Healing of the skin coloration generally takes a few days, but relief will happen quickly . Drink plenty of water to flush these released toxins from the body.
Needles are the main tool used acupuncturists. Whisker-thin, sterile needles are inserted into specific points to adjust the body back to homeostasis. Whether the issue is musculoskeletal, symptoms from an internal organ disease, or just a need for relaxation, the needle treatment will activate your body’s healing ability.