Many spectators have observed our Olympians ringed with circular marks at the Rio games this year. NBC even had a special report entitled “Cupping: Olympics Secret Weapon?” For those unfamiliar with cupping therapy, it may look like odd shaped bruises caused from a very strange injury, but in fact, it is the result of utilizing an ancient therapy called cupping, which has been a widely used treatment method in China for over 2,600 years.
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ortho specialist with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Lin uses cupping masterfully and frequently in his practice to treat sports injuries, musculoskeletal issues and common respiratory issues. He has also trained many generations of students on the techniques of cupping in esteemed Traditional Chinese Medicine universities in California.
Despite the media attention that this therapy is currently receiving, you do not need to be a professional athlete to benefit from cupping. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses it to treat musculoskeletal pain, respiratory issues such as the common cold or bronchitis, rheumatic and arthritic diseases, gynecological and fertility disorders, blood disorders, skin issues and to promote general physical and psychological well-being. It is often used in conjunction with Acupuncture, Tui Na and herbal therapies.
In Chinese medicine we also use it as diagnostic tool. Where color arises tells us what meridians need attention and the color of the markings also yield important information that aids in diagnosing.
Outside of treating disease, benefits can be seen in anyone that is experiencing soreness, tension or wants to recover from strenuous physical exertion faster. It works by breaking up stagnation in the area, treating stiffness and pain, and bringing fresh blood and energy to the area to speed recovery of any micro tearing of tissues during activity.
After cupping treatment, people generally feel relaxed and refreshed, and relieved from muscle pains and discomfort from cold symptoms. Dark circles often appear due to rupture of the capillaries just under the skin, but are not the same as a bruise caused by blunt-force trauma, they usually disappear in a week.
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