How to Use Cupping Therapy to Improve Circulation

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Cupping therapy uses a number of small glass cups which are heated to create vacuums. The warmth holds the cup in place on the body, soothing tense muscles, releasing toxins and increasing blood circulation. The cups are usually left on the body for only 10 or 15 minutes, and can be left in stationary positions over problem areas, or moved gently to create a soothing massage. Read on to learn more.

Things You'll Need

  • Candle
  • Matches
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tweezers
  • Small glass cups
  • Acupuncture meridian chart
  • Light a candle with a match and place it in a candle holder. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and carefully hold the cotton ball with a pair of tweezers. Light the cotton ball on fire using the burning candle.

  • Create a vacuum with the cup by holding the burning cotton ball inside of the glass for 5 to 10 seconds. Remove the burning cotton ball and place the cup immediately onto the skin either over tight muscles or acupuncture points. The vacuum mechanism of cupping helps pull blood to the skins surface improving blood circulation, releasing tension and clearing the toxins that cause muscle pain.

  • Apply only four to six cups per cupping session over tight muscles. If a cup comes loose during the session, simply reheat and place in the same position. If leaving the cups in a stationary position, the entire session should last 10 or 15 minutes. Remove the cups and gently massage the cupped areas.

  • Perform cupping massage by gripping the bottom firmly and applying gentle downward pressure while moving the cup in small circular movements. The cups will come lose more easily while massaging, so be prepared to reheat them. If using cupping massage, place four to six cups over affected areas. Using one cup at a time, massage the area for five minutes before returning it to it's original position and continuing with the next cup.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tight muscles block blood flow and cause inflammation and pain. Cupping, either in a stationary position or used in massage can help increase blood circulation throughout the muscle, relieving both the tension and pain.

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