Paul Murphy Acupuncturist

Cupping Therapy

Along with acupuncture there is another ancient practice that has been used with great success; cupping therapy. Cupping is a procedure where cups are placed on the body (often the back) and a vacuum is created by the removal of air in the cups. Cupping can be used for diverse conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and gastrointestinal issues.

Cupping dates back  sixteen centuries to ancient Chinese, Middle Eastern and Egyptian cultures. It is believed that cupping began as a way to suck blood from poisonous wounds. Prior to glass and plastic, cups were constructed from animal horns.  Later pottery and bamboo cups were used. Modern techniques use glass in process called “fire cupping.” This procedure entails soaking a cotton ball in alcohol, lighting it afire and with tongs placing it into the glass cup and thereby burning away the air which will create a vacuum. Fire cupping can look quite mysterious but Paul Murphy prefers to use plastic cups which are safer and easier to use than the glass cups.

Unlike with fire cupping, plastic cups have a hand held pump which will suction the air out of the cups. The skin is literally pulled into the cups and there is a tight sensation where the cups are placed. This has the effect of stimulating blood flow – actually sucking up stagnant blood from deep within the tissue. This not only moves stagnant blood but stretches out tight muscles.

About 90% of the time I use cupping for back issues, usually really tight muscles loosen up considerably. Cupping usually leaves circular marks on the body that may be visible for up to a week or so.

If you or a person you know feel that you could benefit from cupping therapy, I encourage you to contact me for a free consultation  at 770-905-5560.


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