Chinese Cupping Therapy Toronto is an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin by creating a vacuum inside a cup using change in heat or by suctioning out air. The skin and superficial muscle layers are drawn into and held inside the cup. The cup may be moved while the cup is suctioned onto the skin by applying some oil before the cup is placed. The movement causes a regional pulling of the skin and muscle. This technique is called gliding cupping.

Watch our short Video on the procedure

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Chinese Cupping Therapy Toronto

Cupping is applied by acupuncturists to certain acupuncture points, as well as to regions of the body that are affected by pain ( where the pain is deeper than the tissue being pulled). View all the conditions cupping helps by clicking here.

When the cups are placed on the surface of the skin, the treatment is somewhat like gua-sha. Cupping is gentler than gua-sha. Cupping has some effect like moxibustion, because the cups are heated. Heating of the cups was the method used to obtain suction, the hot air in the cups has a low density and, as the cups cool with the opening sealed by the skin, the pressure within the cups declines, sucking the skin into it. In this case, the cups are hot and have a stimulating effect something like that of burning moxa wool.

History of Cupping
The earliest use of cupping that is recorded is from the famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist Ge Hong, (281-341AD).  The method was described in his book A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, in which the cups were actually animal horns, used for draining pustules.  As a result of using horns, cupping has been knows as jiaofa or the horn technique.  In the Tang Dynasty book, Necessities of a Frontier Official, cupping was prescribed for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis ( or similar disorder).  More recently, Zhao Xuemin, during the Qing Dynasty used it for alleviating headache, dizziness, abdominal distention, pain syndromes.   He used pottery and bamboo cups.

Modern Cupping
During the 20th century, glass cups were developed which made things a lot easier.  Bamboo and Pottery easily  broke or became too hot, or caught on fire.   Sometimes drinking glasses were used, but thicker glass cups are the best.  A small amount of fire is placed underneath the cup to create a suctioning effect on the skin.
Generally the cups are left for about 10 minutes, an average of 5-15 minutes.  The skin becomes reddened due to the suction.  The cup is removed by pressing the skin along its side to allow outside are to leak into it.   Movement of the cups is limited to fleshy areas.

Today we recommend it for the treatment of pain, gastro-intestinal disorders, lung diseases ( especially chronic cough and asthma), and paralysis, although it can be used for other conditions as well.   It also feels amazing just  for stress relief.

Contraindications include areas of skin which are inflamed, high fever, convulsions or cramping, easy bleeding, or abdominal or lower back during pregnancy.

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