There are various types of cupping available so a brief description of each is listed below.
Cupping is the action of placing an object the shape of a cup made of plastic, silicone, glass or bamboo on the skin surface. By removing the air in the cup we can get pressure so the cup attaches.
Plastic cups come with a pump that can be attached to the top of the cup. Silicone cups are compressed then released on the skin, while glass and bamboo cups use a lighted cotton ball to cause a vacuum.
A cup is placed on a particular place to cause a drawing up of underlying tissues. The pressure is minimal but enough to release substances that are located below the skin layer and deep enough to reach the muscular layer.
Cupping is not painful but rather a pleasant feeling of pulling or stretching. Fibromyalgia or chronic muscular painful condition sufferers should let the practitioner know so as to adjust the treatment.
Silicone cups are a gentle form of cupping. Silicone cups can be used on more sensitive areas such as with cellulite or along the course of lymphatic system. Placing the silicone cups in warm water increases their benefit.
Cupping the cellulite will increase blood flow to the local area, this in turn support metabolic uptake of congested substances.
The release of red blood cells, oxygen and lymphatic fluid improve the metabolism to the local area being cupped.
Dry cupping is used for muscular pain from coughing, muscular spasm from coughing, chest congestion, neck and lower back tension from occupational stress of sitting or standing for long periods of time.
Many substances are found in the skin layer to the intramuscular layer of our body and gentle cupping can bring these substances to our skin surface.
The skin is very vascular. It is rich in red blood cells and can carry away substances drawn up more quickly that if left at the deeper layers.
The discoloration of the skin after cupping is determined by the amount of these substances you have accumulated. Some common substances include carbon dioxide, lymph fluid, metabolic wastes and cholesterol.
Hijama is the use of cups with the addition of placing a small cut in the skin to release some blood from the patient. This treatment has a long history and is beneficial to improving general health, headache, lowering of cholesterol, decreasing mental stress, headache and relaxing muscular tension to name a few.
Recent research indicates that hijama lowers serum lipid concentrations of healthy young men. Serum lipoproteins, especially LDL cholesterol is decreased by up to 10% and is seen as a preventative measure against atherosclerosis.
Hijama uses stationary cups at specific sights from the head to the feet. Treatment usually takes 1 hour.
This type of cupping treats muscular tension and knots by sliding the cup along the course of a muscle to break up muscle fiber tension. The muscle is put on a stretch and this causes the fibers to open allowing a flushing of red blood into a tight, strained, spasm, rigid or knotted muscle.
The action of sliding cupping is similar to the massage method of lock and block used in myofascial stripping. Common muscles treated include trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadratus lumborum, and rhomboid.
Our lymph system has no pump like our arteries and veins. The fluid in the lymph system relies on our abdominal peristalsis or movement and our physicial muscular movement to circulate.
Lymph fluid is made up of several byproducts from the spaces between our body structures. Some of these substances include excess fats, proteins and interstitial fluid. Lymph glands also contain white blood cells, so bacteria and cancer cells are killed in lymph glands.
Cupping and sliding cupping using silicone cups move lymph fluid in the same way by physicial movement. Cupping stretches the lymphatic vessels and causes the movement of the lymphatic fluid in them.
Muscular strains, cramps or over use of muscles can lead a decrease in range of motion to a muscle. This then leads to over use of surrounding muscles to the damaged one.
We can increase our muscles range of motion by cupping circulating a flushing of red blood cells to dehydrated or overused muscles.
Myofascial cupping can treat adhesions, maintain functional soft tissue, encourage hydration to muscles and release metabolic congestion from overuse in manual work or sport.
When dried herb mugwort is burnt it is burnt it is called moxibustion. There are many reasons to use heat on the body surface and moxibustion is a method perfected over thousands of years.
Today the use of mugwort moxibustion in a modern air-conditioned office is limited due to the smoke it releases. The Chinese have perfected an electric heater that can reproduce the therapeutic effects of mugwort.
Heating the skin surface and having that heat penetrate to the lower layers such as the muscle layer is difficult as the skin acts as a barrier to stop heat penetrating our body.
At the clinic we use heaters designed in China to overcome this problem. The heat passes through a ceramic tube then through a specially designed coating that changes the property of the heat. This heat is able to penetrated to the muscular layer.
This heating is essential to get the maximum amount of red blood cells to the area. The more red blood cells the better the effect of the acupuncture treatment.
Blood - nutrition, white blood cells and lymphatic stimulation released in local sights aids the recovery of muscular or nerves. Muscular-nervous tension, muscular knots, adhesions, strains and rigidity from over use can all be treated with moxibustion.
Infertility can be treated with moxibustion. We use moxi to increase the blood supply to the lower abdominal area as well as the low back. This increase in blood will nourish, wash and strengthen the reproductive system.