By Dr John Brazier
China in your hands The world famous use of traditional Cupping and Moxibustion therapy has finally landed on our shores with its use in the Channel 4 TV’s fly on the wall series ‘The Salon’.
Cupping originated many thousands of years ago primarily for the treatment of disease and pain. This hasn’t changed right up to today, but with modern science and understanding it has confirmed its rightful place in both beauty therapy & well-being medicine.
Cupping therapy was originally used in China and Egypt dating back some 3 ½ thousand years where its use was mentioned in hieroglyphics. Before the invent of glass, therapists would use cow horns or bamboo to remove blood and poison from the body, clinical experience over the years has advanced its application to many areas.
Even Hypocrites & Galen, 2 of the most celebrated originators of modern medicine were advocates to the tremendous benefits, along with Samuel Bayfield who wrote ‘Cupping is an art’ in 1823 and surgeon Charles Kennedy talked of its well-known benefits in 1826.
Hypocrites noted in Greece the use of large glass jars to reduce the dislocation of vertebrae along with many other symptoms. The application of Cupping is very simple but its effects are dramatic. Our health & well being (immune system) are totally reliant on the movement of blood, Qi (energy) & body fluids (hormones, lymphatic fluid, etc.).
Oriental Medicine teaches us that all pain is due to stagnation of these systems. Due to the wonderful pulling power and heat that the cups offer it is dramatic in its reduction of pain and hence our feeling of well being. This stagnation can be a result of injury, stress, a lack of blood, Qi or even an invasion of cold in the body & joints. What ever the cause Cupping can be applied to specific points as used in acupuncture, or with the application of massage oil to the area of dysfunction and after a very short time the patient will start to feel warmth and a reduction of pain.
Its use in beauty therapy is based around promoting hormone production, encouraging blood and body fluid movement in the bowels and internal organs thus removing harmful toxins that speed up the aging process and cause other conditions.
Real holistic & beauty therapy should be on balancing all aspects of the body. We all know that wrinkles are primarily caused by individual cells drying out, due to age or too much sun. Oriental Medicine teaches us that Kidney weakness speeds up the aging process leading to dry, damaged hair, early greying or loss of hair. This drying out or imbalance in ladies also shows itself in the early signs of the menopause with hot flushes, night sweats and dry skin. Consequently, by the application of just external lotion to the skin area or hair you are dramatically letting your client down by not accessing the root cause.
The benefits of Cupping therapy are endless. Due to its stimulating & strengthening effects cupping has been used successfully to treat all of the following: Bowel conditions (IBS, Constipation & Diarrhoea) Headaches, Back pain, Arthritis, Period pain, Injuries, Asthma, Cellulite, Fatigue (ME), Anaemia, Depression & Emotional problems, Atrophy, Sciatica, Common cold & Flu, Skin problems, Blood pressure, Ladies problems, Weight loss and more.
Cupping is applied to the body by introducing a naked flame to the cup to create a vacuum, which is then applied to the skin and draws a little up to seal itself. The amount of pressure applied varies with the size of the flame. Usually in the West we use much less pressure than the Chinese would. The therapist can then decide how to use the cups depending on the client and the presenting condition. For example if it is a child with Asthma, we would use flash cupping techniques (which is usually enjoyable) the cups are applied and pulled off in quick succession creating a popping sound not unlike popcorn.
For more chronic cases say of frozen shoulder or joint pain we would use a longer application with a stronger pull. Due to its wide application many therapies can greatly benefit from these techniques: Physiotherapy, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Chiropractic, Shiatsu, Osteopathy, Beauty therapy etc.
Imagine applying cups to a shoulder before working on the feet or using Reiki on the head. Dr John Brazier (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the Principal of the College of Oriental Body Balance, he has been using and teaching aspects of Cupping and other techniques with unbelievable success at Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Salford University, Sandra Day school of health studies, Professional sportspeople and the general public.
For further information on training or treatments please email [email protected] or phone 01253 728035
Dr. John Brazier (TCM) MSc. MBRCP. CCATCM
Complementary Medicine Consultant
Corporate health & wellness advisor
Performance Enhancement Specialist
This article was posted by john brazier