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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Cupping Has Been Around for Centuries

Sep 05, 2016 06:49PM ● By Carlos Chapa

Most recently making news as those red spots on gold medalist Michael Phelps’ back, cupping therapy is the method of using glass, plastic, bamboo or suction cups to create localized vacuum pressure that causes the blood to be drawn to the area and help in healing it. The use of this healing modality has been documented for thousands of years to treat pain and remove toxic substances from the body in East Asia, Greece, North Africa and Egypt.

Acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners/ doctors of today typically use plastic cupping sets. Cupping heals by pulling on the connective tissue and, activating a natural chemical cascade that releases nitric oxide and causes the blood vessels to dilate. When this occurs, internal stagnation in the affected blood vessels is released.

New advancements in technology and materials have been integrated with cupping therapies, allowing it to be used for many different treatments and applications.

In acupuncture and Chinese medicine there are several methods of usage, depending upon the patient’s needs. Only trained and knowledgeable acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners and doctors should perform such treatments.

Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed up to four inc hes deep. Even hands, wrists, legs and ankles can be cupped, thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.

This treatment is also valuable for the lungs, and can clear congestion from a common cold or help control asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are one of the most common maladies that cupping is used to relieve. Three thousand years ago, in the earliest Chinese documentation of cupping, it was recommended for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.

The suction from the cups can penetrate deep into tissues, releasing harmful lympathic toxins by drawing fresh blood and lymph into the tissue to accelerate the healing response. It stimulates the lymphatic system, clears the blood vessels and stretches and activates the skin.

Cupping decreases mechanical connective tissue changes following inflammation or trauma; trigger points (hypersensitive, tender tissue); myofascial dysfunctions like scar adhesions and scar tissue; and myofascial syndromes, or faulty patterning due to extremely tense muscles.

Dr. Carlos Chapa, OMD, LAc, Ph.D., practices at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medical Center, with locations in Irving and Mesquite. For more information, visit

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