Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Does massage cupping therapy work?

Cupping massage therapy is increasingly popular for the relief of aches and pains; but just how safe and effective is it really?

"By creating suction and negative pressure, massage cupping is used to drain excess fluids and toxins; stimulate the peripheral nervous system; bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin; and loosen adhesions, connective tissue and stubborn knots in soft tissue."

Have a look at this video:



There is one lesson to be taken from this video: Be careful of who you go to for any kind of work on your body.  The "professionals" in this video clip crossed the line by going for dramatic effect for the show.  There should not have been any bleeding.

This graphic video shows how stale blood and fluid that accumulates in areas of chronic tension is drawn to the surface by cupping.  This is claimed to be a healthy therapy.  I question this claim.  Once the fluid is drawn to the surface tissues, where does it go?  Surely it must go somewhere eventually.  What is obvious is that damage is being done to the skin and underlying tissues.  that dark bruising is caused by bursting of the the small capillaries blood vessels, leaving your body with a mess that must be cleaned up and repaired.  This cleanup and repair takes one to two weeks.

The better approach to removing toxins from the tissues and to reduce muscle tension is a thorough, firm massage of the affected areas.  The damage to the body is minimal and the health benefits are beyond dispute and lasting.  The only problem for the therapist is giving a good massage is hard work and takes a good hour.  Cupping, on the other hand, is quick, easy and visually dramatic.

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