We all need to have a good detox from time-to-time. It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered the amazing benefits of acupuncture and cupping therapy and learned that they could help me do just that. Initially, I began going for postpartum pain in my back and although it didn’t really help much at first, I discovered that it did improve my health in other ways.
For one, it helped lower my stress and anxiety to manageable levels which then helped to decrease the level of pain throughout my body. I also noticed that my mind was clearer and that I was able to retain information a lot easier.
As an added bonus, I began to notice a significant suppression of hunger and began requiring less food to function throughout the day. This helped me shed a few pounds which was great for my energy level!
It wasn’t long before I began looking forward to my sessions and became a strong advocate of this practice. As a tired, working Mom, I know how important this form of detoxification can be for my overall health. The best part? It’s easy, enjoyable, and doesn’t require much effort on your part–except maybe driving to the place. No nasty diet shakes or detox foods to consume.
Detoxification techniques have been practiced by cultures all around the world, but they are more common amongst Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic systems. Detoxification allows for the body to cleanse, nourish and rest, inside out. By removing toxins from the body, and feeding your body with healthy nutrients, you can regain your lost health.
Detoxification simply means purification/cleansing of blood. Our body has a natural mechanism to remove impurities. Body toxins are majorly removed from liver, but other organs like kidneys, lymphatic system, intestines, lungs and skin are also responsible for the detoxification process. However, if any one of these systems are compromised, this could mean our body won’t be able to filter blood entirely, which inevitably leads to aggravation of health.
Detoxification actually helps with the cleansing of blood and has tons of benefits; but it’s also necessary that you understand whether your body needs a detoxification regime. So the first thing you should ask yourself is: Am I healthy?
Detoxification protagonists will suggest you to have a body detox at least once a year. But if you have some medical condition, like tuberculosis, cancer, or a degenerative disease, you should consult a healthcare practitioner first. Children and nursing mothers should also consult a doctor if they are looking forward to detoxify their body.
If you aren’t certain whether you should consult a doctor for taking a verdict over detoxification, look for the bodily signs and symptoms that usually include bloating, allergies, unexplained fatigue, menstrual problems, mental confusion, and irritated skin.
Although there are numerous detoxification techniques, I wanted to specifically discuss cupping and acupuncture (see below) for body detoxification.
Cupping has its roots in the ancient Chinese medicine, but isn’t exclusive to Chinese tradition only. The remnants of cupping could also be found in the treatment techniques of North American Indians, early Greeks and ancient Egyptian. Arabs have also adopted the cupping therapy and is commonly known as Hijama. Hippocrates, who has been referred to as the “father of modern medicine” also recommended cupping therapy.
Cupping can be used by anyone, except for people with medical conditions. Patients who bleed too easily, or cannot stop bleeding, have edema or skin ulcers should go for other forms of detoxification techniques. If you are trying cupping for the first time, try to go with a less intense regime before moving onto more suction and longer amounts of time.
Keep in mind that cupping can cause a temporary reddening of the skin where the cup is applied. I freaked out a little the first time when I saw this as my entire back was covered. These spots thankfully do fade within 3-5 days.
Body detoxification is the sole reason why cupping therapy is used in the first place. Know cupping has other benefits too that you should know about.
When cupping is performed on your body, the therapy helps eliminate toxins and stimulate the flow of blood to the affected body parts, helping them to recover. It’s also great for people who have cold, coughs, flu, allergies, fevers and aches; but the most important reasons why people resort to cupping is for its ability to heal anxiety, back and muscle pain and itchy skin.
There are two different cupping techniques: fixed cupping and moving cupping. For fixed cupping, the process is simple; a cupping practitioner applies cups on selected body parts and then leave them in their place.
The moving cupping technique is more complex where a practitioner applies some cream or massage oil to the skin areas that are to be treated with cupping therapy. Once placed on the body, the cups are displaced form their original position to other parts of the body. The cups slide easily if there is proper lubrication.
Now I’m not going to sugar coat anything– cupping hurts, however It’s only for a few seconds while the suction pulls your skin. The obtained benefits are totally worth the pain!
But cupping isn’t the only therapy that you should look forward to. Acupuncture is a detoxification technique that used in conjunction with cupping. However, both therapies can be opted for individually.
Acupuncture also originates from China, and has been practiced from thousands of years, but you can also find its presence a few years ago in Europe. In the twentieth century, acupuncture became widespread across United States, Canada and Western Europe.
Acupuncture is relatively more complex procedure than cupping and involves insertion of very thin needs through specific areas of the skin (ouch!). Acupuncture practitioners know pressure points on the body where needles are inserted to certain depths. The medical community contradicts with the efficacy of acupuncture; however, patients who go through this therapy do feel the benefits. According to Chinese traditions, our body has certain meridians from (pathways) from where gi vital energy passes, but there are no anatomical, scientific and histological proofs of this theory.
According to a Word Health Organization (WHO) report, acupuncture is effective for the treatment of 28 different medical conditions. There are evidences that conclude the therapeutic significance of acupuncture, and therefore, if you have planned an acupuncture, you should go for it without any hesitation, except for taking some precautionary measures.
Acupuncture needs to be carried out carefully and in a controlled environment with the use of single-use disposable needles. The possible benefits of acupuncture include:
It’s important to note that patients who are on blood thinning medication or have bleeding disorder should avoid acupuncture or consult a doctor before having one.
I personally like to a fit a session in once a week as I feel that it keeps me balanced and content. If you’ve never tried acupuncture or cupping therapy, I highly recommend you try it at least once, to see if it’s for you. At the very least, you get to lay in a dark room with relaxing music –you can’t go wrong there.