Traditional Chinese Medicine in Burnaby
Originating in China almost 2000 thousand years ago, cupping is a form of treatment that involves the placing of heated cups directly on the skin’s surface to create suction and induce blood flow to the area to facilitate healing. The negative pressure or vacuum manipulate the soft tissue to encourage the creation of new blood vessels in order to promote cell repair. Cupping is used to help ease the symptoms of a wide array of minor and chronic health conditions and is usually used as a complement to existing treatments.
The cups used for this purpose resemble snow globes—they are rounded on top and open ended and range in size from about 2cm to 10 cm in diameter. Though reused from patient to patient at Elu Wellness, they are thoroughly sterilized before each use.
Oil is first applied to the skin to allow for adhesion. The inside of the cup is then heated and then positioned on the body. It will remain in place from five to ten minutes if stationary cupping is being performed, rapidly placed and then removed in succession for flash cupping or moved in a stroking motion for glide cupping.
After the session it is not unusual to see round red marks where the cups were placed. The marks are simply a reaction of the blood vessels reacting to the change in pressure under the vacuum of the cups and will fade in time. Staying hydrated will help the skin regenerate more quickly.
Acupuncture has been popular outside of China for decades, but cupping is a more recent phenomenon here in the United States, although it dates back to 3000 BC in Asia.
There are two types of cupping: dry cupping and wet cupping. Dry cupping involves using glass, bamboo, silicone or earthenware cups on the skin to draw congested blood and energy to the surface in order to break up stagnation. Wet cupping uses the same method, but an incision with a small scalpel or pin prick is made on the skin first and the suctioning process draws out a small amount of blood.