Cupping Therapy in Burnaby

Cupping and Michael Phelps
Cupping and Michael Phelps

Cupping, or myofascial decompression as it is formally known, is a form of therapy that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), however, its current popularity owes everything to Michael Phelps, American former competitive swimmer and the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time. It was his appearance at the Rio Games in 2016 that captured the attention of the world and brought cupping therapy into its current limelight.

As Phelps made his way to the pool, the world observed that he was covered with dark red circles—the telltale sign he had undergone cupping therapy. Phelps, as well as a score of other US athletes, apparently rely on cupping to naturally relieve tension in their overworked muscles and to promote healing.

In addition to treating muscle stiffness and pain, as well as being used as a complement to other existing treatments, cupping can help with a wide array of medical conditions as the negative pressure created by the cups increases blood circulation in the area and promote cell repair. This practice has been used in Chinese medicine for a millennia as a way to treat pain and muscle stiffness, but it can thank Phelps for its current popularity.

In cupping therapy, cups are placed on the skin and negative pressure is used to draw tissue into the cup. This increases circulation which in turn helps relieve muscle tension, inflammation and promote cell repair through the creation of new blood vessels in the area. Most commonly cupping therapy involves the use of globe-like open ended cups typically of glass, however, in the past cups were made utilizing whatever materials were available in the region such as animal horns, bamboo, earthenware and metal.

Traditionally, negative pressure for cupping is created when in one motion, a flame is placed inside the cup and the removed and the cup is placed on the skin. The fire uses up all the oxygen in the cup which creates negative pressure. In the case of Phelps, he underwent a modern version of cupping therapy where a pump is used to create the vacuum inside the cup. Cups are usually left in place from five to ten minutes.

After cupping like in the case of Phelps, expect to see round red marks where the cups were placed. The marks are a reaction of the blood vessels reacting to the change in pressure under the vacuum of the cups and will fade in time.

Though to some, the images of Phelps during the 2016 Rio Olympic games with several red marks on his skin after undergoing cupping therapy may have seemed unsightly, it was simply a sign of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) at work and on the world largest athletic stage.

If you are interest in cupping therapy, Elu Wellness has licensed and experienced specialist to give you the cupping in Burnaby. Our office is located across Metrotown and we provide cupping and acupuncture service all across South Burnaby. If you are looking for cupping therapy in Metrotown, Capital Hill, Canada Way, Edmonds, Brentwood, Highgate, Deer Lake, Burnaby Lake, Central Park or other parts of South Burnaby or North Burnaby give us a call.

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