Cupping has become more popular in the western world after celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston were snapped with cupping marks on their skin. We asked Rose Zhang, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner at Chuan Spa at the Langham to give us the low-down on cupping therapy.
What is the theory behind a cupping treatment?
“Cupping therapy promotes the circulation of blood and Qi in the area where the treatment is applied. It also helps to remove stagnation and toxins which are often associated with joint and muscle pain.”
What happens during a cupping treatment?
“The practitioner lights a flame inside a cup made of glass, bamboo or metal to create a vacuum, he then places it on specific parts of patient’s body. This suction causes the cups to adhere strongly, but comfortably, to the skin and unblock energy.”
What makes cupping different to a normal spa treatment?
“As well as providing relaxation for the body and mind, cupping is a traditional medical technique which can help with pain problems and other health conditions. An experienced practitioner would be able to alleviate more serious conditions, while at the same time providing a calming therapy session.”
Who would you recommend a cupping treatment to be most suitable for?
“Cupping is a good therapy technique for alleviating musculoskeletal pain, so is great for those with painful and tight backs and shoulders. People with demanding jobs looking to relax and reduce their stress levels will also benefit from cupping.
“The treatment can help to reduce the severity of colds and flu by alleviating chest tightness and digestive problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
“It is worth noting that cupping is not an appropriate treatment if you have a skin conditions.”