Cupping is a popular component of Chinese medicine. Celebrities, like Gwyneth Paltrow, have raved about Chinese medicine and cupping. Cupping relaxes the muscles and promotes healing by improving the flow of blood and Qi (energy) in the body. Cups are placed on the skin over acupuncture points or on painful areas. They can be stationary (placed in one spot), or they can be moved around (known as “moving cups” or “sliding cups”). There are various types of cupping. Fire cupping is the traditional method. A flame is inserted into a glass cup to create a vacuum. The fire is then removed and the cup is quickly placed on the skin. 

Cupping is very helpful for musculo-skeletal issues, like pain and tension in the back, shoulder, neck, and other areas of the body. It encourages healing by relaxing the muscles and increasing the circulation of blood, thereby bringing stagnant/toxic blood and fluids to the surface in order to detox the area. Cupping is also great for treating respiratory issues, like the common cold, cough, asthma, and bronchitis. In the fall and winter months, cupping can be used to help prevent colds and flu, because the technique warms and promotes a free flow of energy.

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