Using Heat To Create Suction For Healing

Fire cupping can be compared to a deep massage.  It is a tremendously helpful technique for a large variety of conditions.  When combined with acupuncture and massage, the use of cupping can often cut down the number of treatments required for alleviation of pain.

Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed.  This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair.  It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.

Cupping helps with issues such as generalized pain, injuries of the back/shoulders/neck, etc., herniated discs, disc degeneration, arthritis and other conditions such as asthma, colds and flus, insomnia, stress, etc. 

Fire cupping involves the application of glass cups which adhere to the body through the use of heat.  A cotton ball is first soaked in alcohol and attached to forceps.  The cotton ball is then lit on fire, inserted into the glass cup and then quickly removed and placed onto the skin to create a suction.  The recipient does not feel the heat, but does feel the cup pull up on the skin.  The cups are used over certain acupuncture points and/or over areas of pain.  Often people will refer to cupping as like a massage, but instead of pushing on the muscles, it pulls.  This pulling effect helps to separate fascia layers and adhesions and stimulate blood flow.

Once the cups are attached, they are generally left on for 3-10 minutes.  Your practitioner may also apply massage oil and gently glide the cups up and down the affected areas (called running cupping).  The cups are removed by simply pressing down on the skin and letting the air out.  They often leave marks on the body which last for about 4-10 days, depending on the condition.  The marks are very useful as diagnostic tools:  the darker the mark, the more stagnation there is in the muscles.  As the marks lighten through progressive treatments, it is a sign that the underlying conditions are improving.

In addition to relieving pain, fire cupping gives the body a boost in releasing toxins.  An increase in blood flow can also help to flush out toxins that are stored in the lymphatic system.  It is important to drink lots of water and try to avoid alcohol after a treatment.

Increasing circulation with fire cupping also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite as it brings blood flow to the skin and fascia.

Cupping therapy promotes deep relaxation to move through the entire body by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system.  This is responsible for slowing the heart rate, assisting in digestion and increasing intestinal and gland activity.  It is great for people who suffer from stress, anxiety, burnout and insomnia.

Congestion (the buildup of fluid or phlegm in your lungs) caused by a cold, bronchitis or even asthma, can be treated with fire cupping.  The suction from cupping helps to break up and expel congestion.  It brings oxygen rich blood and lymph toward the lungs and other respiratory muscles.  Cups are usually placed on the back, but can be placed on the chest as well.

FIRE CUPPING is offered at the Saskatoon and Warman locations by SARAH STROHAN.