What Cupping is good for…Indications
(unfortunately, the diagrams are not getting on the blog, sorry about that. I am working on it. You can buy the book complete on Kindle…)
Chronic issues of pain, fatigue, or disability
Pain and fatigue are good signs that the body does not move as much as it should to enable movement of toxins, acids and nutrients to and from all areas of the body. Cupping helps to kick start this and get those fluids moving.
History of prescription or recreational drug use.
This is a great way to help other modalities when someone is in a detox state. Those medications or drugs tend to hang in the subcutaneous fat and are difficult to remove. Cupping can help them get the where they need to go to be excreted or detoxified by the liver.
Too much protein in the diet.
Proteins are difficult and take longer to digest. They are however, nutritionally rich and can generally be refined into any of the main components we need; amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids. Some proteins can remain in blood plasma and can make the blood (as a whole) thicker, more sludgy and less easily moved among the compartments.
Parasite or candida infection:
Some parasites and other infections slow the response of the body on purpose to make sure they (the infectious bug) live longer. Some parasites can even wall off their area so that our normal immunity cannot get to it. Cupping can help open up those areas to good blood and other fluids that will attract and activate your own immune system and cleaning mechanisms.
Exposure to environmental toxins, mold, pollen, chemicals etc.
The more chemical exposure, the longer treatment will take. The patient will also have to get out of the environment that has the irritating chemicals. Cupping can help the whole body process those irritating toxins and get some help for the liver, lungs and skin to work more efficiently.
Past traumatic events that tend to rear up now and again.
Yes, even PTSD can benefit. You may have heard the term “The issues are in the tissues” which is the body’s way of segmenting and separating fluids for different reasons. There is no reason to think that emotional/spiritual/consciousness issues do not react the same way. Cupping can be a relaxing respite for them as well. Breathing is essential in this type of treatment.
That feeling of being stagnant or ‘stuck’ in life, relationships, career etc…
Cupping can help you feel more fresh and light, giving you the edge on energy to start a good habit of health and wellbeing. When the cups are on, you can also use meditative techniques to really contemplate your next action in life… etc.
As a general treatment to help the body’s natural processes work a little better. When we are talking about toxins, we don’t only mean the normal toxins that build up from normal metabolism: carbon dioxide, lactic acid, carbonic acid, cellular debris, and excess water from metabolism. Remember, our bodies normally handle this all by themselves; cupping helps it move even more.
We can also help affect those that are doing any form of detoxification, from alcohol, drugs; even just ‘bad’ energy can be moved with cupping. Sometimes we can get what used to be called a health care crisis, where you have flu like symptoms from having all the toxins get stirred up in the system all at once.
As an example, think of a bucket of dirty water. If you let it sit long enough the dirt will all settle to the bottom and the water will seem rather clear and pure. Obviously there is lots of muck deep down and once you stir it up there can be that feeling of sickness all over again. Cupping can do that sometimes, but keep at it, drink plenty of water and help flush out the system. There are some supplements and herbs that can help with this process as well. (We can go over them later)
Concentrate the cup placement on the back around the areas that serve the kidneys and liver. (See diagram).
Also, in later sessions we can do some abdominal gentle cupping and see how that fares for you.
Cellulite: This, I would consider a more advanced treatment and should be done by someone with a little more training and with the Finnish soft cups. Great to get the fluids moving in the cellulite areas. The cellulite will disappear at least temporarily, as it is merely toxins stuck in fat tissue. Once the toxins are released the tissue will appear more normal. This can take months to clear from the body and needs nutritional, chemical, physical, and consciousness care as well. There are vacuum devices that cost thousands that can do the work as well, but cupping is easy and cheap.
Colds and flu: One of the main traditional uses of cupping, commonly with a sauna and herbal teas and salves. This can be a great way to help break a fever. It opens channels that heat will escape from really quickly. Be careful not to let the client become chilled. Cover all spots by wearing a shirt. Too much Qi release can be problematic.
This is one time the cups can be used on the chest, although lightly will get a good enough result to help with congestion and that feeling of being un-well.
Stiffness: This is a great way to loosen the tissues and promote blood flow which will remove the lactic acid that causes the stiffness. Helps to re-oxygenate the tissues and get fluids moving again bringing oxygen, nutrients and fluids and therefore loosening the stiffness.
Neck and shoulders: We are generally talking about the shoulders and trapezius muscles that tend to get very tight with emotional and mental stress. You know those, top of the shoulders and on the back. This is the best place to put the cups so that they can do the most benefit. Feel for the tight spots or most tender areas and set the cups on those with three or four pumps. Then give that about five minutes and recheck.
Abdominal or Belly cupping: Here we should use the flash cupping or gentle cupping in the areas as listed in the diagram. Make sure and do the areas of complaint first as this will help the whole system become looser. (See Diagram) This can be useful for the following conditions: Bloating, gall bladder issues, liver enzymes elevated, liver issues, splenic or immune issues, stomach problems, sour stomach, constipation, irritable bowel.
Also, since it increases fluids in the local area, it can be useful for pelvic work when someone wants to become pregnant. Treatment below the belly button and on the back is indicated to help increase heat to the uterus and surrounding tissues. DO NOT use on a pregnant person, though.
Knees and ankles: For this use the smaller cups. I have used this with acupuncture with really good success. Be mindful of the veiny areas. The cups may not want to stick unless there is lots of effusion in those areas. And then be careful. Use the flash cupping and then try some other parts on the calf or up in the thigh so that you can influence the most movement of fluid against gravity. Continue this for about five minutes and recheck often to make sure the cups are staying where you want them, and that the fluids are moving.
Facial cupping: This is a good technique for rehabilitation of the face and can help reduce some wrinkles. Do this very carefully; only a little bit of a pump. You should use the smallest of the cups for this to be able to work. This is a very ‘Yin’ area, so caution is advised.
Does it hurt? It can feel uncomfortable, especially if the tissue is over congested and tight, or if you are dehydrated. Drink plenty of good water before and after a session. Some people will feel ‘flu-y’ after a treatment. The best thing to do in that case is simply drink plenty of water and keep the cupped area warm and covered. A lot of energy (Qi) is released when you have cupping. The marks are considered open spots that leak lots of vital energy which, if you are already fighting off some bug or somewhat sick, you may feel the sick feeling more. Most people feel a ‘freshness’ at the areas of cupping, which is a great sign that energy is coming back to the area.
How long will those marks last? That depends on how deep the stagnation and how ‘healthy’ your system really is. Usually the marks last a couple of days. Sometimes, with deep set stagnation that is chronic, a yellowish mark may remain for a couple of weeks. This is an indication that much more work needs to be done.
What should one do about the marks? Marks are a natural and expected result of good cupping. Keep them covered and warm, as the ‘opening’ of that area will release a lot of energy and heat. You can be more susceptible to chills and further trouble if they are left uncovered, especially for the first day or so. Also, since the marks are more ‘open’ than the rest of the skin, be mindful of what you put on your skin. Natural and medicated oils will be more potent.
Drink water or eat before coming for the treatment. You will relax even more and avoid uncomfortable nausea and dizziness which occasionally occur.
After cupping it is common to feel coolness, or a light feeling. Your energy will go up or down depending on how your body reacts to the cupping treatment. Best plan is to schedule 4 or 5 treatments over a month period to cleanse the entire area and facilitate healing in the most efficient way for you.