'Cupping' can help offer holistic way of healing - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

'Cupping' can help offer holistic way of healing

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

It's been around for thousands of years, but you may have never heard of the ancient therapy known as cupping.

It's the opposite of a massage.  Rather than applying pressure to muscles, a suction uses pressure to pull skin and muscles upward.

Performed with a flame and left with a lasting impression, cupping may look intimidating, but many are embracing the trend.

"Traditionally, it's a Chinese medicine treatment, but it started back in Egypt and they started using it for a detox process...pain, tension in the shoulders...but it can be used to treat cold, flus early onset, used for cough and chest congestion as well," said Elizabeth Girard with Whole Body Healing in Northampton.

How exactly does it work?  It's a suction that's created on the skin to make blood flow and to make you more healthy.

Girard said that it's a little deeper than deep tissue massage.

"So you can see it pulling up the skin here.  It gets a little red, so she probably has a bit of tension in her shoulders on the right more so, so it will help circulate the blood," Girard explained.

Cups come in different sizes and they can move around to target areas on the body.  They stay on for about five to seven minutes. 

The technique is a holistic way of healing, treating not just the symptoms, but the entire immune system 

Helpful?  Maybe.  Appealing?  Not so much, as cupping leaves behind colorful circles.

"So all that stagnant blood that's stuck in those muscles are getting pulled up to the surface.  Just make sure you drink a lot of water and your lymph will push that out in about a week," Girard said.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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