How do I prepare myself for a cupping treatment?
Towels, soaps, sauna-linen and small refreshments are always provided as part of the treatment. If you wish you may bring a swimsuit to wear, bearing in mind that it will get some blood on it. Please arrive on time and in a trusting mind-set. Make sure you do not have any medications or medical conditions that make cupping therapy an unsuitable treatment for you. Some tolerance for sauna and blood drawing is required. After the treatment it is best to take the rest of the day easy. See below for ‘After treatment procedure’.
Is cupping for everyone?
No. Take into account medications and medical conditions such as: Blood thinner Marevan, strong cortisone medication, difficult diabetes, skin inflammation (rashes), scleroderma (skin produces too much scar tissue), low blood-pressure, low haemoglobin, pregnancy and full lactation, strong menstrual bleeding, artificial joints (consult your doctor), you are about to undergo a bigger surgical operation, you have valvular heart disease or any other weakened body state, which may hinder your ability to donate blood or use a sauna.
If you have caught a difficult skin inflammation from Asia or suspect yourself of carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria or a blood transmitted disease, I will unfortunately not be able to treat you. If you donated blood, have a 3-4 month pause before cupping treatment. It is also recommended to have a 4 month pause after cupping before a blood donation.
Who is cupping for?
If you have serious health issues, dizziness or heart problems, I strongly recommend getting diagnosed by a doctor. Only after proper diagnosis can we chose a suitable folk healing treatment for you. Although cupping is a widely suitable treatment method, you may wish to discuss cupping with your doctor, when in doubt. Cupping can be helpful for health problems such as:
high blood pressure and pressure in the head
migraines and tension/stress headaches
vague muscle/joint aches and rheumatism
hormonal problems for men and women (also infertility)
’grainy’ or ‘lumpy’ feeling muscle tissue
strong, odorous sweat, that ‘burns’
water retention and diminished sweating
restless, cold feet
chronic fatigue syndrome or fatigue from excessive working out
after quitting smoking, heavy medical drug treatments or after the removal of amalgam fillings
psoriasis, atopic skin (if not actively inflamed)
How fast do the cupping incisions heal?
The cuts do not bleed after cupping and a scab will form really fast due to the preciseness and technique of incision. The incisions are only surface scratches and will not bleed without a suction cup. No scar tissue will form unless the incisions are made for ex. too deep with a surgical knife – I use a traditional cupping blade (surgical stainless steel, no nickel). The incision marks disappear in about 3 days and the suction marks in about a week.
Is cupping safe?
If all medical risks have been ruled out and all cupping equipment properly disinfected in an autoclave, there are no noted risks. Properly sterilized cupping equipment comes in a laminated sterile bag, which is opened only just before the treatment. Despite sterile equipment it is possible, though extremely unlikely, that a cupping point gets inflamed – which is why it is important to follow the healing of the incisions and avoid unnecessary sauna, spas, heavy sweating and exposure to impurities for about a week. To speed up the healing process apply some pine resin salve or some other ointment, especially to parts of the body with poor blood circulation such as shins and cellulite areas. The amount of blood released from the capillary blood vessels through the incisions is not detrimental. Usually the amount of blood and fluids drawn out is 1-5 dl.
What are the effects of a cupping treatment and how does one feel after it?
In Finnish healing tradition cupping is known to symbolically remove ‘bad’ blood, which is a view easily accepted by many and can have a healing effect in its self. Some people experience cupping to have an invigorating, energizing and cleansing affect – both internally and on the outside. Others feel calm or drowsy and may sleep like a little child for up to 12 hours. It is common to feel relaxed and light. Some may experience heavy sweating or a more active bladder. The hormonal stimulus may cause renewed menstrual bleeding for women in their menopause. Some hard training athletes are keen on cupping therapy: they find that they get better results in their training and experience less muscle acidification.
Can one feel nauseous or faint during cupping?
Feeling nauseous or fainting is very uncommon, even for those who get queasy at the sight of blood or feel faint while having a blood sample taken. The tiny incisions made to your skin are light (much smaller than a paper cut) and you won’t have to see any blood. Every individual’s pain threshold is different and the incisions do cause a small rush of adrenaline – every single first-timer has overcome their fear of the cupping blade, even those who have a fear of needles and injections. Unlike the fast drawing of arterial blood for samples, cupping draws out lymph and blood from the capillary blood vessels. This is why cupping will not cause nausea or your blood pressure to drop too fast.
Everyone feels nervous before their first cupping. As a professional I am here to take good care of you. If instinctively cupping sounds too scary, you may chose to try out some other treatment – one that you can receive with a calm and relaxed mind. I am not here to convince anyone into a cupping treatment, cupping works best when it rises from a readiness and instinctive need for this particular treatment method.
Can one lose too much blood during cupping?
In cupping, blood is drawn out evenly from the capillary blood vessels around your body, primarily where there is notable tissue pressure, aches or blockages. It is near impossible to draw out too much blood. For people with low blood pressure the amount of blood drawn is 1-3 dl. For people with high blood pressure the amount is 3-6 dl.
How often can one have a cupping treatment?
It is good to have at least 3 months between treatments. Exceptions can be made for a cupping regimen under the supervision of a doctor in cases of high haemoglobin and drug resistant high blood pressure. Sometimes a targeted cupping for a specific problem area can be done once a month. It is advisable to have a 3-4 month gap between cupping and blood donation.
After treatment procedure
Avoid sweating and sauna for 3 days.
Keep yourself hydrated with adequate amounts of water and mineral salts.
Avoid public saunas and spas for 1 week.
Avoid burdening your body with alcohol for 1 week.
If you take medication for blood pressure or diuretics, monitor your condition, be careful not to overdose and consult your doctor if necessary.
Warning! If you feel shaky 1-2 days after a cupping treatment, check your body’s sodium levels. Water and sodium intake must be in balance.
How does wet cupping differ from dry cupping?
In dry cupping skin is not broken and no blood is drawn. The aim of dry and slide cupping is to increase blood flow for ex. in cellulite areas. Sometimes I use slide cupping as a method to increase blood flow in areas of poor blood circulation so as to be able to perform wet cupping. Whenever possible, as a traditional cupper, I believe it is better to draw the lymph and capillary blood out instead of leaving it to create bruises.
What knowledge is cupping based on?
Cupping is an age-old healing method, which is said to invigorate and energize the body, renew blood, balance tissue pressures and remove metabolic residue, for ex. lactic acid and ‘old blood’. Muscle tension is released by placing a suction cup onto a tiny incision in the skin and drawing blood from the capillary blood vessels. A tensed muscle allows much less blood flow than a relaxed one. Cupping can also be used as a stimulating treatment to relax your body, lower your blood pressure and the small incisions help your body release endorphins. Cupping has been known to help heal low levels of inflammation, improve the circulation of blood and fluids, balance hormonal functions and help the work of internal organs such as kidneys. Sufficient scientific studies into the benefits of cupping for removing metabolic waste are yet to be done.
Are there scientific studies on cupping?
Some scientific studies do exist but nothing solid. Below are posted some links to studies with tentative results.
A Finnish research:
”Cupping as a part of living finnish traditional healing. A remedy agains pain.”
”Wet-cupping removes oxidants and decreases oxidative stress.”
”Wet-cupping restores sympathovagal imbalances in cardiac rhythm”
‘’The effect of traditional wet cupping on shoulder pain and neck pain”