If you’re from the Mediterranean, you might have heard of “Ventosa” but not quite familiar with the term unless you frequently visit a spa or a massage salon for back pain treatments. Ventosa is a form of ancient cupping therapy that involves heating a glass cup which is then applied to the skin to provide suction. This form of therapy has been used for thousands of years, not just in the Asian countries, although it is believed by many to have originated from China - they call it Hijama in the Middle Eastern and Bankas in Eastern European.
Ventosa has been thought to stimulate the “Qi,” which in ancient Chinese is the life force or the “flow of energy” in the body. The suction facilitates healing through blood flow. Many Taoists also believe that cupping restores the balance between the “yin and yang”, or the negative and positive forces within the body, enhancing the body’s immune system as well as reduce pain.
Cupping therapy enhances blood circulation to the body part where the glass cups are applied. The heat and the suction effect may relieve muscle tension through hyperemia, or improved circulation, and hemostasis, or blood clot formation. Both of these processes can promote cell repair and healing. There are two main categories of cupping performed today:
The glass cup stays on your skin for five to ten minutes. After a treatment, you may observe circular red marks on the surface of your skin from the cups, which will later on fade. The red marks are signs of increased blood flow to the area. Your therapist may apply ointment and bandages to these areas to prevent infection.
Cupping therapy helps the body heal quickly, as it causes an increase in blood flow to an injured area. Because it mechanically decompresses tissues, it can help conditions where there is muscular tightness or mild impingements.
Cupping is believed to have systemic benefits for the immune system as well. Because it improves blood circulation and the flow of extracellular fluids, the body can better mobilize its functions around a weak or injured area. The following is a list of cupping benefits, both physically and mentally:
The British Cupping Society considers cupping therapy to treat:
Cupping is generally safe, especially if it’s carried out by a qualified professional. However, the British Cupping Society advises not to provide the therapy to the following groups of people:
Also, the British Cupping Society advises not to carry out cupping on the following sites:
As always, anyone is advised to consult a professional before trying out cupping therapy. Don’t forget to inform your provider about anything of the above-mentioned conditions.
You may want to check Smart Cupping Therapy!