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  • Shannon Markland, LAc

Why Cupping?

“Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.”

This old Chinese saying teaches us that pain is often the result of a blockage of Qi, or energy, fluids like lymph or phlegm, or blood in the body. If the blockage can be cleared up, then pain should dissipate as the body's natural flow of energy, fluids and blood is restored.


Cupping works to break up stagnation in the body by drawing up congested energy, fluids or blood to the surface to then be flushed out by the body.


Fire cupping is a technique where a small flame is introduced to a glass cup in order to remove oxygen from the cup to create a vacuum. The cup is quickly placed on the skin and gently creates suction. The cup is not hot when it touches the skin and the flame never comes into contact with the skin. Cupping is also often performed using plastic or glass cups fitted with a small valve for a hand held pumping tool to use to create suction.


Once the cups are placed on the skin they will be left on for several minutes. Depending on the patient's condition, massage oil may be applied prior to placing the cups and the cups are then moved along the skin in a gliding motion. This should never be a painful experience. Most patients rest into their cupping session and feel a sense of relief and relaxation as the cups work to alleviate tension in the area.

What does Cupping do?

· Moves qi, fluid & blood stagnation to release musculoskeletal pain, tension and alleviate migraines.

· Can clear congestion in the Lungs due to common cold or asthma.

· Remove metabolic waste (“toxins”) to detox the skin and circulatory system.

· Promote micro-circulation for cell repair

· Relieve constipation, improve digestive well-being.

Because cupping creates suction on the skin, some redness often occurs within the circular area of the cup. This redness may fade immediately or may last several days and the body clears stagnant blood and fluids. Read on for more information on aftercare!

What do I need to do after my cupping therapy?

· Drink plenty of water to assist the body in flushing out waste material from tissues.

· Avoid direct exposure of cupped area to wind or cold drafts.

· Some soreness may occur, as if you just lifted weights. This should ease within 36-48 hours.

· Rest and avoid rigorous activity just as you would after your acupuncture treatment!


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