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Fire Cupping

Fire cupping is a traditional Chinese therapy that involves placing cups on the skin and creating a vacuum by heating the air inside the cup with a flame.

As the air cools, it creates suction, which draws the skin and underlying tissue into the cup.

This gentle pulling action stimulates blood flow, promotes lymphatic drainage, and releases tension in the muscles and fascia.

Fire cupping is often used to alleviate muscle pain, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation.

It can also help to detoxify the body by stimulating the lymphatic system and promoting the removal of toxins and metabolic waste. Additionally, fire cupping is believed to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

With its centuries-old history and wide-ranging benefits, fire cupping offers a natural and effective way to support the body's innate healing processes and restore balance.

Cupping therapy

How Does it Work?

As part of the treatment procedure, a flammable substance is carefully placed inside a glass or silicone cup and ignited briefly. Following this, the therapist allows the fire to extinguish before carefully placing the cup onto the skin.

The cup remains in place for a period of up to three minutes, resulting in suction that can cause redness and raised skin within the cup.

This process helps to stimulate blood flow and increase circulation to the affected area(s), promoting healing and recovery.

What Is Cupping Used For?

This therapeutic technique is often compared to deep tissue massage, as it helps to break up residual scar tissue and alleviate pain in the affected area. Cups are strategically placed on the back, shoulders, neck, arms or legs, or a specific area where the patient is experiencing discomfort.

The cups can be left in place for five to twenty minutes, depending on the patient's condition and the practitioner's recommendation.

Sometimes if the condition requires, we also use techniques such as sliding the cups along the muscle to stretch, like in the action of a massage, or will use a technique that is called pop cupping, this technique encourages further blood and Qi flow to the muscles.

The cups will then be gently removed by lifting one edge, allowing air to flow back in, breaking the vacuum seal.

What Are The Benefits Of Cupping?

While there has been limited research conducted on fire cupping, the existing studies have demonstrated the potential health benefits of this technique.

For instance, a study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that fire cupping can help alleviate conditions such as acne, herpes zoster, and chronic pain.

Another study, published in PLoS One, highlighted the safety and efficacy of fire cupping in treating several diseases and conditions, including facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, and acne.

Additionally, the British Cupping Society reports that cupping has the potential to mitigate a range of issues, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety, depression, allergies, asthma, and varicose veins.

Is Cupping Painful?

Fire cupping is widely recognized as a therapeutic practice that many patients find deeply relaxing and comparable to a deep tissue massage.

While the red marks that remain after each session may seem alarming, rest assured that the cupping process itself is not painful.

Furthermore, the resulting therapeutic benefits can be experienced for weeks afterwards.

What are the side effects?

Fire cupping can result in temporary side effects such as circular bruising and soreness that can vary depending on the level of suction applied. These bruises can last for several days or a couple of weeks before naturally fading away. During the session, there may also be some temporary discomfort as Qi is unblocked and tissue/muscles are loosened.

However, within TCM teachings, these symptoms are often viewed as positive outcomes that suggest a successful treatment in releasing blocked Qi and toxins. Before beginning any sessions, we always discuss for bleeding disorders or skin conditions in patients.

Cupping is not be performed on inflamed, infected, or burned skin or on patients suffering from haemophilia or other bleeding disorders.

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