Acupressure & Cupping Therapies

Acupressure is just one of a number of Asian bodywork therapies (ABT) with roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Examples of other Asian bodywork therapies are medical qigong and Tuina. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure.

Traditional Chinese medical theory describes special acupoints, or acupressure points, that lie along meridians, or channels, in your body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture. It is believed that through these invisible channels flows vital energy -- or a life force called qi (ch'i). It is also believed that these 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout your body. The meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian.

According to this theory, when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are among the types of TCM that are thought to help restore balance.

Relatively new to Western medicine, cupping therapy has been used throughout history in other cultures and is particularly popular in China. Cupping involves the use of cups which are suctioned to the skin to promote blood flow. In Chinese medicine it is believed to help the flow of qi (life force) through the body.

There are different types of cupping therapies; wet and dry. Dry cupping only involves using cups with heat to create suction. Wet cupping on the other hand uses the same method as dry cupping but takes it a step further. The dry cupping method is performed for 3-5 minutes and after the removal of the cups, small cuts are made on the raised area to release any bad fluids. A second cup is then placed on the same raised area to suck up the blood. After this is done, bandages are applied.

Benefits to Cupping Therapy

The use of cupping is backed up mostly by the history of its use. It’s not a extremely common practice but has been known to have health benefits. Dry cupping can be used with other forms of treatment such as massage and acupuncture for additional relief. Wet cupping cannot be combined with other methods of treatment. Cupping therapy can help with the following

Cupping therapy has been shown to treat specific conditions as well as the more broad terms listed above.

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