Cupping, Oil Cupping & Fire Cupping Santa Monica

Cupping is a very effective and rapid method to relieve muscle tension.  This method is especially helpful when cupping is applied to the neck and shoulder areas.  Long hours on the computer is a common cause of neck and back pain and cupping is a great method to provide immediate relaxation and relief.   As one of the primary methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cupping dates back to the 4th century, when the famous herbal master Ge Hong described a form of cupping in “A Handbook of Prescriptions”.  Later writings from the Tang and Qing dynasties described cupping methods in further detail and elaborated on a type of cupping that could stop headaches, dizziness and abdominal discomfort.

Today, most acupuncturists use cups made of thick glass or plastic. Glass cups are the preferred method of delivery, because they do not break as easily and they allow the acupuncturist to see the skin and evaluate the effects of treatment.  There are various cupping methods used including: fire cupping, gliding cupping with oil (also called moving cupping), wet cupping, and warm needle cupping.

Below is a promotional video on Cupping Therapy. This video features Clinic Director Eric Schmidt, LAc and was filmed at our Santa Monica office in 2014:

In China and abroad, cupping is used primarily to treat muscle tension and pain, respiratory conditions, arthritis and gastrointestinal disorders. Cupping is particularly effective for neck and shoulder syndromes with tight muscles and reduced range-of-motion.  Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach (and, to a lesser extent, the arms and legs), are the preferred sites for treatment.

Is cupping safe? Does it hurt?
Cupping is considered very safe, however it does produce light bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand – This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are painless and generally disappear within a few days of treatment.
To achieve the best results with cupping, light oil should be applied to the skin – this allows that the cups can be moved along specific muscle fibers after they are applied.  Many clinics do not use the oil-cupping method and therefore do not get the best possible results.  At Meridian Health Clinic, we generally get truly exceptional results in using the cups to relieve muscle tension and pain.

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