Cupping originated thousands years ago in China, and is one of the oldest forms of manual therapy. The old Chinese medical maxim holds that pain results from stagnation or blockage of vital energy (Qi). Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain. Chinese cupping is therefore a method of breaking up the blockage to restore the body's natural flow of energy.
By placing a glass or a plastic cup onto the skin, the therapist creates a vacuum in the cup which draws the skin, muscle, and the fascia up into the cup. The suction of the cups allows new blood to flow to sore areas in muscles, providing important nutrients to the area that promote healing and regeneration. It can also provide pain relief by exciting small nerves inside muscles so that they release pain-killing chemicals.
Once suctioned, the cups are left in place for up to 30 minutes while the client relaxes.
Contrary to the commonly held impression, the suction of the cups does not hurt. In fact, most people find it a very relaxing and soothing experience.
The benefits of Cupping Therapy can be experienced with the following conditions:
- neck, shoulder and lower back pain
- stiff muscles
- anxiety and depression
- headaches and migraines
- rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
- sluggish/toxic lymph
- lowered immunity
- gynecology and fertility
- bronchitis and asthma
- acne, psoriasis and eczema
The side effects of Cupping are fairly mild. Bruising should be expected, but skin should return to looking normal within 10 days.
Cupping Therapy can be categorized onto four main styles: Dry Cupping, Wet Cupping, Fire Cupping and Massage Cupping.
Dry Cupping is the most common type of cupping. It is done by applying plastic suction cups to skin. The suction is achieved by putting a small, manually-operated suction pump on a valve which is attached to each suction cup. The therapist can control the amount of suction used. Dry cupping is great for pain for local pain and inflammation reduction, softening of adhesions and stiff connective tissue and the ability to impact deeper, more hard-to-reach muscles and other soft tissues.
Wet Cupping (Hijama in Arabic) combines an acupuncture technique called bleeding with cupping. Skin is sterilised and pierced with a lancet before a suction cup is applied. The negative pressure draws "bad" toxic blood out of the body in the vacuum to help detoxify the body and increase production of fresh new blood. The leech-like nature of the wet cupping helps boosting immunity.
Fire Cupping is the most traditional, original form of Chinese cupping. The therapist uses a cotton ball that has been soaked in alcohol, and then set alight, to heat the air inside the glass cup. As the oxygen inside the cup is consumed, the vacuum is formed. Fire cupping removes the "cold" in the body - cold is considered one of the "evils" in TCM of which therapist aim to rid the body. The treatment greatly benefits the lungs and is commonly used to help clear congestion from cold, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma.
Massage Cupping (also known as gliding cupping) is a technique traditionally performed on large muscle groups to treat pain and muscle spasms. Massage oil is applied to skin prior to the cups being placed, which allows the cups to glide easily over the surface of the skin. Massage cupping combines both deep tissue massage and cupping which effectively causes a myofascial release. Massage cupping is also commonly used for cellulite and weight loss (more info in Body Massage).
Manual Lymphatic Drainage has a powerful cleansing, relaxing, pain relieving and immunological effects. It is a very gentle, flowing, rhythmic massage that is used to promote the optimal functioning of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in the body by regulating the immune system which protects the body against disease and infection. It transports nutrients to the cells and eliminates metabolic waste, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules, foreign substances and excess fluids from the body. Stimulating the lymphatic system through manual lymphatic drainage will activate all of the above functions encouraging a very powerful detoxification and cell regeneration.
Western culture's diet of highly processed foods and sedentary lifestyle, stress the lymphatic system with excess wastes and toxins. Coupled with this and not enough fluid intake, most of us have sluggish lymphatic systems. For this reason, anyone can benefit from lymph drainage as part of general detoxification program.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is particularly useful as a part of post-surgery therapy, to reduce oedema and fibrosis and to relieve pain and tension.
The benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage are numerous and can be experienced with the following conditions:
- Pre/Post operative cases, in particular where lymph nodes have been removed, such as post cancer where the lymphatic system is impaired in some way
- Post cosmetic surgery
- Swollen ankles, puffy eyes and swollen legs
- Scar tissue healing, torn ligaments and sprains
- Compromised immunity, frequent colds and flu
- Headaches and migraines
- Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Granular Fever, ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
- Helps kick-start detoxification programme
- Digestive problems
- Excess weight
- Stress, anxiety and tension
- Helps combat the dimply appearance of cellulite as part of a healthy lifestyle change
- Hay Fever and other allergies
- Acne, Rosacea and other skin conditions
- Dysfunctional respiratory system (asthma, bronchitis)
- Before and after a long-haul flight
Manual Lymphatic Drainage involves extremely light pressure and does not work your deeper muscles. It can leave you feeling very exhausted and thirsty. Give your body time to ease back into activity and increase the amount of water you drink over the next few days - the body will be in a state of high toxicity for a few days after the treatment!
How an Ionic Detox Foot Bath Works: Facts and Myths
The process of an Ionic Detox Foot Bath is actually quite simple. We start by filling a tub with warm water. Salt is added to the warm water to improve conductivity. Then we place an array into the tub to produce a gentle electrical current. This direct micro current breaks the water into positively charged hydrogen ions and oxygen gas, or negatively charged hydroxide ions and hydrogen gas, depending on the settings we choose.
When the machine is turned on, the patient might notice a slight tingling sensation in the feet. That’s because our bodies are made of water and electrolytes, and they allow the micro current to travel through the body. The ions in the water have a moving effect on oppositely charged toxins in all the body's organs including the liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs and skin. The toxins have to go somewhere, and they end up being excreted through the processes of urination, defecation and sweating.
By the end of a 45-minute session, the water changes color to brown. The color change is caused by the oxidation of the metal plates in the array and the ions reacting with solutes in the water. So don’t be fooled by some companies out there who claim that the brown water produced in their bath is the result of toxins coming out of the body. This is NOT true! Most of the detoxification happens internally and lasts up to 48 hours after the session and it has nothing to do with the colour of the water.
An ionic foot detox is more effective than other foot detox modalities because the electrical current actually travels throughout the body and stimulates lasting detoxification effects. Other modalities offer similar relaxation benefits, but the effects don’t last, and they can only remove toxins close to the surface of the skin.
The Benefits of an Ionic Detox Foot Bath
The primary benefit of an ionic detox footbath is that it enhances the body’s own natural detoxification abilities. This allows the body to remove heavy metals and other toxic elements from the body more efficiently.
Assisting the body’s natural detoxification process results in:
☆ a stronger immune system
☆ a reduction in chronic pain and inflammation
☆ prevention of chronic disease
☆ relief from the symptoms of chronic illness
☆ potential weight loss
☆ increased energy and focus
☆ enhanced lymphatic drainage
☆ better skin health
☆ fewer headaches and migraines
☆ improved circulation and heart health
☆ an overall feeling of relaxation and well-being
☆ stress relief and improved mood
☆ a reduction of swelling in the feet and ankles
☆ improved digestion and nutrient absorption
A 45 min. treatment includes: Ionic Foot Detox Bath + relaxing music + a cup of herbal detox tea + detox foot pads (applied in the end).