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This is one of the techniques utilised within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and can be combined with Acupuncture and Tui Na massage. A vacuum is created inside a glass, plastic or bamboo cup before being placed on the skin, so that the cup sticks to the skin. This increases blood circulation to the area, and is excellent for pain, stiffness and congestion.

There has been a huge surge of interest in Cupping Therapy since Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympics, and attracted just as much attention for the purple marks all over his body. They come from cupping therapy, a suction-based massage popular with the US Olympic team.

 

Does cupping hurt and what are the circles?

Cupping feels like suction, and the pressure is adjusted to the person so that it is not uncomfortable.  The distinctive circles sometimes left after cupping are where the cups have pulled ‘stagnant blood’ to the surface. This can vary in colour from pink to deep purple and can last from a few minutes to several days. The darker and longer lasting the circles, the more ‘stagnation was present, and the more the person most likely needed the cupping therapy!

 

Stefan Chmelik has been using Cupping Therapy to help people with different conditions for almost 30 years, and has previously taught practitioners the skill within the UK.

 

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Pictures of Rio cupping swimmers

rtr20lze.jpg 300x225 Cupping Therapy

2000 300x180 Cupping Therapy

 

Vacuum cupping in action at Rio 298x300 Cupping Therapy

 

 

Testimonials

Provocative Therapy: It can be fun

I had a lot of fun in those sessions, I felt they were very enjoyable - the lightness and laughter of it made touching on uncomfortable and painful issues easier, and the benevolence you bring to the process (aka Unconditional Positive Regard) was palpable.  I could see how the strange mental-emotional convolutions that happen when experiencing the inner friction set up by the provocations would over time promote real change.