This past week I indulged in some self-care and got some cupping done. This is something I have done from time to time when I felt like I needed a little more than a typical acupuncture or massage session.
Most people that saw my back after a session would have a similar reaction, WHY?! It looks like it could be painful because of the bruise-like appearance cupping leaves behind, and most westerners were not aware of this eastern practice until it made headlines in the recent Olympics.
Michael Phelps (USA Olympic gold medalist swimmer) had some markings on his shoulders and stories began flooding news circuits about cupping and the benefits it can bring. Athletes in particular look to cupping when they are looking to recover faster and to find some relief in tense areas of the body.
For me, cupping has always been a spiritual cleansing-like ritual. I feel lighter when I leave and do feel a sense of relief from tension and stress. After leaving my most recent session, I felt compelled to do a post on the subject to not only inform readers on the ancient practice, but to encourage you to go out and try it!
As with most of my posts, I feel a top 5 is the simplest way to explain a subject, so I will try and compartmentalize the benefits of cupping into a comprehensive list and you can decide if it sounds worth trying.
Top 5 Benefits of Cupping
- Helps you relax: this is my favorite benefit and the one I believe you notice immediately. Cupping begins with a body massage to start the relaxation process, but the actual act of releasing pressure from tense muscles that cupping brings really puts your body into a state of “melting” and relaxation.
- Detoxifies your body: this is my second favorite reason, we are bombarded with toxins all day long and if you don’t have a release you begin to feel weighed down. Cupping improves stagnation by rushing blood to the treated areas and takes away any toxins or debris that have been stagnant.
- Speeds healing process: cupping draws blood to an area so that new blood vessels can form. Knots, adhesions and other soreness felt from intense exercise is given instant relief which is why many athletes turn to this form of therapy to recover faster.
- Relieves pain: when performed on areas that are causing discomfort, cupping can provide comfort by increasing blood flow to the area and delivers important nutrients and oxygen.
- Fights colds and allergies: cupping can help to stimulate the lungs (along with other vital organs) to help clear our phlegm as well as boost immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body.
Is cupping something you would consider trying? Let me know if you have any questions, I love this topic!