By Natasha Dunn
Looking after the mind and body is more vital than ever before. Although the world seems to be returning to what I’ll describe as a ‘new’ normal, Covid is still very much among us. And if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we must take care of ourselves. And there are other ways to do so outside the realms of modern medical care, which leads me to the topic of this article: cupping therapy.
What is Cupping Therapy?
WebMd describe cupping therapy as an ancient medical technique, in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. Originating in China, as cited on Healthline, cupping therapy is divided into two separate categories, dry cupping which is the suction only method, and wet cupping, which is inclusive of controlled bleeding.
It is believed that cupping will help to balance the yin yang and differing materials of cups can be used, which include bamboo and glass.
The Uses and Benefits of Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is said to have several benefits and firstly, let’s talk about pain relief. According to Medical News Today and a study entitled ‘Cupping for Treating Pain: A Systematic Review’, there could in fact be evidence that cupping therapy may assist in relieving pain. However, it is advised that there are limitations to this research.
Alongside pain relief there is some evidence that this type of therapy can assist in afflictions such as acne, facial paralysis and lumbar disc herniation, according to a study on the NCBI.
Are there Side Effects to Cupping Therapy?
The short answer to the above question is yes there are side effects. And these side effects can include nausea and dizziness,alongside more obvious risks such as bruises, burns and even infections of the skin.
Healthline additionally instructs that certain individuals should not partake in cupping therapy, such as the elderly, children and people who are pregnant and menstruating. They also note that cupping can cause scarring, which is something else to take into consideration.
Ultimately it is important that you consult with a doctor or GP before undergoing treatment, to of course discover your suitability for this form of therapy.
Cupping therapy was new to me, and it’s been an interesting journey. And indeed, the benefits seem wholeheartedly positive. But there is always the necessity for caution when deciding to undertake any form of treatment. The more I have investigated cupping, the more I have noticed that there doesn’t seem to be fully conclusive research. So, if cupping therapy is of interest to you, then talk to a healthcare professional beforehand. And if they give you the green light, well there’s no harm in trying something new?