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What is Detox Cupping?

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cupping Detox Diet Treatment Heat

Cupping is a form of detox treatment originally carried out by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, now becoming more common as an alternative therapy. Gwyneth Paltrow is one celebrity fan, but just what is cupping, and how does it help with detox?

Cup Of Love

An ancient Chinese practice, cupping is thought to aid the healing of a range of different ailments, from colds and flu, to digestive and sexual disorders and stress. There are many cupping practitioners and spa centres in the UK attracting more and more inquisitive alternative therapy fans as the nation’s obsession with detoxification gathers speed. Cupping has been found to relieve ailments when Western medicine has failed.

Sucking Up

The cups in question are in fact small glass jars which are heated and then applied to patients’ backs, or other problem areas. The vacuum, which can be varied in intensity, acts to suck the skin, with the result that any toxins present in the body are taken up into the bloodstream where they can be efficiently carried away and eliminated. If you think that sounds rather like a love bite, you’re quite right!

Love Your Lymph!

Cupping is said to improve the activity of the lymphatic system, which has no natural pump of its own. The heat and suction of the glass cups stimulates the blood and the nervous system, clearing any congestion and activating the body’s internal detox processes. After a cupping session, the skin is left red and bruised for a time until natural healing occurs.

Peace And Harmony

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that illness or disorder occurs in the body when our qi is blocked. Qi, or life energy, should flow freely around the body, but can become trapped in certain places at times of ill health. Cups are placed at these points with the pressure acting to free the qi so that ailments are eased and the body is brought back into balance.

A Heated Treat

When you attend your first session with a cupping practitioner you will be asked questions relating to your lifestyle and any existing health complaints. If cupping is safe for you, you’ll be asked to remove the relevant articles of clothing and lay down, much the same as you would during a spa treatment. Oil may or may not be applied, followed by the heated cups. The treatment may be uncomfortable, or even painful, but many cupping fans find the process very relaxing.

Take Care

Cupping is suitable for most people, whatever their medical history; but pregnant women, sufferers of heart disease, skin disease and those with a tendency to bleed easily should abstain. The red marks left behind can look rather severe, so if you decide to give cupping a try, make sure you save it for outside the party season!

Cupping is just one of a handful of the more extreme detox treatments that you can try to complement your detox diet. If colonic hydrotherapy is a step too far for you, a course of cupping sessions could be just what the detox ordered.

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