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  • Gathered Roots

Cupping Therapy

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi). Qi is free-flowing vital energy circulating through the body and its disruption can create blockages or imbalances in the body. According to TCM theory, it is the stagnation of qi and blood that causes pain and disease.

What can you expect during a cupping treatment?

During a cupping treatment, a cup, usually made of glass, is attached to the skin surface, causing local congestion through the negative pressure created by introducing heat in the form of ignited material. Cupping invigorates local circulation of qi and blood in the area being treated, resolving swelling, pain, and tension. By drawing impurities to the surface, it removes toxins. Cupping functions similarly to the way deep tissue massage can be used to break up scar tissue and reduce pain.

Cupping also affects the digestive system. A few benefits include improved metabolism, relief from constipation, a healthy appetite, and stronger digestion.

From a Western physiology perspective, cupping loosens connective tissue or fascia and stimulates blood flow to the surface. It stimulates tissue relaxation and better cell-to-cell communication, which is thought to stimulate healing.

What are the side effects?

Cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness, depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of internal stagnation. According to TCM, this would be a favourable outcome, suggesting the treatment has successfully removed toxins and stagnation.

At Gathered Roots, you can receive acupuncture and cupping treatment at the same time or you can book in just for cupping treatment. A general course of treatment involves four to six sessions, with a one to two week interval between each session.

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