A Word On Cupping Marks

A Word on Cupping Marks

The most common misunderstandings concerning Cupping is the misinterpretations of the marks that sometimes result. These marks are NOT Bruises!

Bruising is caused by impact trauma with the breakage of capillaries and a reactionary rush of fluids to the damaged location from the tissue injury. There is no compression in correctly performed Cupping.

When circulation is sluggish or compromised in an injured or diseased area of the body, insufficient oxygen gets to the cells.  This results in a local build-up of waste products such as dead, static blood, lymph, cellular debris, and toxins.

Cupping can leave marks, which indicates that the stagnation or disease has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface, allowing fresh oxygenated blood to nourish and heal the underlying areas. Any suction device left long enough in one place will loosen and pull these agents out & up to the skin surface.

How long do these marks last? 

The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, and range from a bright red to dark purple, usually lasting 3 days to a week – sometimes longer if the person is very sick or sedentary. If there is no stagnation present, there will be only a light pink mark, which disappears in a few minutes to a couple of hours. Sites where there is an old trauma or injury may require multiple cupping treatments to remove all the stagnation. You will find that with follow up treatments, the marks will become visibly lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body.

As treatments accumulate and as the stagnation gets released, dispersed and drained – (sometimes quickly as the 2nd treatment) no discoloration is likely to occur at all – even though each time the cupping may have been focused on the same area, for the same duration, and with the same amount of suction. This action is clearly the result of having internal unwanted toxins systematically purged.

According to Ilkay Zihni Chirali, author of Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy, the full benefits of cupping are achieved between 5 to 10 visits.  Some benefits are immediately noticeable, but short-lived when dealing with musculo-skeletal conditions.  In this case, Chirali highly recommends 10 sessions as one course of treatment.

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