Traditionally heat is used inside the Cup to create a vacuum which draws the skin up. Cupping physically ‘lifts’ the skin and tight muscle fibres beneath to help release the connective tissue, promoting the flow of blood and lymph fluids in the area.
The tissues are then flooded with fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood which contains all the ingredients to help the soft tissue heal from chronic injuries. Cupping is commonly used for chronic aches and pains characterised by stiffness and immobility.
Cupping on the upper back is also commonly used for acute and chronic respiratory disorders in many different cultures. The lifting action of the cupping and the increase in blood flow around the back of the lungs and diaphram can help to clear and expel residual mucus in the lungs.
Traditionally glass Cups are used and a flame is passed around inside to heat the Cup. The flame is withdrawn and the Cup is quickly placed on the skin. In the modern day we also use plastic/glass Cupping sets with a suction pump instead of a flame.
The herb is either burnt on the end of an Acupuncture needle (Kyotoshin) or in small amounts on top of anti-burn cream on the skin (Okyu).
When burnt, the herb sends a gentle sensation of warmth into the body. The warmth then penetrates into the connective tissue, helping to release any area’s of tension and promote better circulation in the area.
Moxabustion is generally used to treat cold type conditions and immune issues however it also has a powerful and relaxing effect on the nervous system and can calm the mind in cases of stress or anxiety.
It is very commonly used and can be effective for fertility treatments, immune weakness and circulation issues.