Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Traditional Chinese Cupping Therapy

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By Elizabeth Davis

Traditional Chinese medicine promotes health and harmony.


It does not involve any cutting, bloodletting or incisions. The skin is not compromised in any way other than the occasional bruise or suction mark, which dissipates quickly.

Interestingly, the skin’s discoloration once the cups are removed is used to determine the body’s toxicity and circulatory health. A light to dark pink mark or bruise can mean fair-to-poor circulation whereas dark purple marks could indicate a more serious illness like an infection, liver or kidney disease.

Photo Credit: theepoctimes.com

Photo Credit: theepoctimes.com

More than just a hot celebrity health trend, cupping therapy dates back over three thousand years in China and historical evidence proves the healing modality was popular with many ancient cultures, including the early Egyptians and Greeks. Centuries of therapeutic practice are a testament to cuppings healing power.

For busy, anxiety-riddled Riyadhis, taking a time-out to heal and relax is a must and cupping offers an important opportunity to improve your circulatory health and good harmony.

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“When people are highly stressed mainly the neck and back muscles are affected,” explained Dr. Valentina, a Naturopathic physician trained in acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy at Luthan Hotel Spas, “the healing cups are the best option for relieving stress because it will remove any blockage and improve blood circulation in that area.
It leaves the back and neck relaxed.”

Inside the therapy room, clients are positioned facedown on the massage table. Fresh slices of ginger are placed in a purposeful pattern on the back, following meridian lines or the paths of energy across the body. The ginger aids in detoxification and particularly helps heal respiratory illness.

Photo Credit: johntsagaris.co.uk

Photo Credit: johntsagaris.co.uk

The mildly heated cups are then placed over the ginger, adhering to the skin to create a vacuum. The skin and muscle tingle with pressure, which can be slightly uncomfortable at times, but not painful. Don’t be fooled into thinking a cupping session might feel like a trip to the doctor’s office.  The spa stays true to its signature luxury style by adding a deep tissue foot and leg massage into the treatment. As the cups are working their medicinal magic, the pressure-point massage on the lower appendages helps to further relax the body.

Once the cups are removed, aromatic oil is gently applied to sooth the skin and muscles.

“Cupping is not superficial healing,” explained Dr. Valentina, “it’s based on Chinese traditional medicine. In our body we have meridian lines that relate to every organ. Meridian lines have an energy flow that promotes circulation to the organs but when the median lines are blocked, it leads to disease. Cupping therapy removes blockage, so it not only provides muscular relief, but promotes the health of the lymphatic system and other organs.”

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