Want to address specific aches in body and heal them? Here’s how cupping helps | Health

Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese therapy to treat aches, pain and stiffness and is beneficial for athletes to maintain performance. Cupping is a process in which vacuum is created between skin and glass or plastic cups which pulls and contracts skin improving the blood flow through that area; increased blood flow under skin starts natural healing process.

Cupping is a form of alternative therapy aimed to relieve pain by improving blood flow in the affected area, releasing muscular tightness and providing more flexible muscles. This can also be seen in the smooth sheet of connective tissue called as fascia that covers the muscles and cupping helps in relieving stiff fascia by making it more elastic and pliable, thus increasing mobility.

Explaining the process in an interview with HT Lifestyle, Ronjan Sodhi, Manav Rachna Mentor, Olympian and Arjuna and Khel Ratna Awardee, shared, “Blood is pulled from vessels to the tissue and body recognizes it as an injury and tries to heal it by creating localized inflammation in that area. Athletes look for tools and therapies which can prevent injuries and help them recover from pain and stiffness which comes as a package with their active and strenuous lifestyle. Here, cupping therapy comes as a handy tool which keep them in the best of shape.”

He elaborated, “In shooting, shooters in all disciplines like rifle, pistol and shotgun need to maintain positions and posture for prolong periods which makes their bones stiff and sore for days. Cupping therapy can be a blessing in disguise for them. Cupping therapy can also be a tool of choice in the most popular and loved sports in our country, i.e. cricket. A batsman would love to get his back and legs cupped whereas a bowler would love to get it done on shoulders and chest muscles at the end of a tiring day. In general cupping therapy can be helpful in the treatment of following conditions: mMigraine, Muscular pains and aches, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and Depression, Arthritis, Varicose veins and Fertility and Gynecological problems.”

According to Dr GL Khanna, PVC at Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, “Cupping is a historic practice used as a traditional Chinese medicine for correcting many musculoskeletal disorders with a concept of inverted massage effect by pulling the skin away. Heat is used to create suction that helps to anchor each cup to the patient’s skin. Many athletes, nowadays, opt for cupping treatment to gain one or more associated benefits with it. The athletes usually undergo cupping therapy in both pre and post sport participation phases with a goal of addressing specific aches within their body to heal these areas as much as possible before participating in their chosen sport that improves their performance.”

He gushed, “Cupping can also help in decreasing an athlete’s recovery time after they have undergone strenuous training or post sport performances. It can help stimulate the chemical breakdown of any toxins within the body that heals the muscles and tissues quickly. In addition, cupping also contributes to the reduction of any inflammation within the body; athletes can expect an improvement in their blood circulation, which in turn is beneficial for boosting their body’s immune system.”