You probably first learned about cupping during Michael Phelp's in the 2016 record setting Olympics . He claimed that cupping helped him by increasing his blood flow, circulation and speeding up muscle recuperation. In this blog post we break down the history and benefits of cupping. Michael Phelp's bruises were visible on camera, which led to many comments on social media and many people learning about cupping therapy.
Cupping therapy can be traced back to ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures. The technique is even described in one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, which means ancient Egyptians may have been using cupping therapy as early as 1,550 B.C.
The history of cupping is an interesting one. Cupping was first used in China thousands of years ago, with the earliest records being written on silk in a book called Bo Shu, found in a tomb of the Han Dynasty. It was originally applied using cattle horns or cross sections of bamboo. In order to create suction, negative pressure was needed to get the skin into the cattle horns or bamboo, so they would boil the “cups” in water and fire was ignited to expel the air. The process was used to draw out pus and blood from boils on people. This was the favored technique rather than opting to get a surgical procedure done. After finding it to be successful, people decided to start trying to use it to cure other types of illnesses or diseases.
How it works:
In cupping therapy, our certified therapist places cups (which can be made of glass or bamboo on the skin and applies suction, which draws the tissue into the cups. Though cupping can leave bruises on the body, they usually go away after a week.
Cupping has many purported benefits, including:
- Alleviating pain
- Reducing muscle tightness
- Increasing a limited range of motion
- Increasing oxygen in local areas from increased local blood flow
- Reducing inflammation
- Increasing blood flow
- Muscle relaxation
- Improves flow of energy
- Healthier skin
- Aids digestive health
- Corresponds to acupuncture health
We believe this will be a great addition to our spa and will start first at our downtown Baltimore spa location first. If you are currently a massage therapy customer or looking for alleviation of pain or muscle tension, book an appointment with us and give it a try. However we can't promise you winning a gold medal.