Fire Cupping Therapy
Cupping has been used as a therapy for centuries in several cultures ranging from Asia, the Middle East and Africa to (more recently) Europe and the Mediterranean. Cupping therapy has widespread applications: ameliorating chronic back pain, reducing joint stiffness and swelling, pulmonary conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, and increasing blood flow to overused, injured or atrophied muscles.
The term ‘cupping’ refers to suction created within a hollow vessel which is then placed upon the area of treatment, creating a vacuum which draws blood toward the surface of the skin, thus increasing circulation (hyperemia). Most modern-day cupping therapy techniques utilize sturdy glass cups. Traditionally, several natural materials have been used to fashion a cup: bamboo segments, clay jars, hollowed animal horn, ceramic drinking cups. As the saying goes, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’.
There are two primary forms of cupping therapy— dry cupping, also called fire cupping, whereby a flame is momentarily introduced into the cup to create a vacuum, and wet cupping , wherein the skin is punctured or scraped before applying the cups. Multiple techniques exist within each form depending on country of origin or medical tradition, the intended effect of the treatment, and patient constitution.
Cupping & Herbal Compresses
Cupping therapy is offered as part of our comprehensive therapy programs. Traditional Thai medicine treatments of the past incorporated steamed herbal compresses in conjunction with cupping and bodywork: In keeping with tradition, steamed herbal compresses (Luk Pra Kob) are used to loosen joints, increase overall circulation, reduce inflammation, and ease chronic pain.
We use the dry cupping / fire cupping method. Glass or ceramic cups are employed, rather than modern plastic or rubber cups. Cupping therapy treatments may vary from mild to strong, however we do NOT use needles or pricking of the skin (wet cupping). Depending upon the indication(s), various techniques may be employed ranging from stationary cups for circulation issues, to gentle tugging of the cups to loosen adhesions or restore elasticity to scarred areas.
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