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Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Suction cupping therapy


Cupping therapy works for losing muscle, improving blood circulation and energy flow. Therefore it is good for muscle spam, tightness, numbness and cold feeling. In our clinic, it is used for the treatment of shoulder pain, tightness, heaviness and bloating feeling, arthritis, common cold, and so on.

Cupping therapy is used very common in ordinary Chinese Family from history. It is to apply a suction cup onto the skin for several minutes. There is a vacuum created within the cup, which is created by burning a piece of cotton or paper or by suctioning with a hand-pump. The cup can be made in portray, clay, bamboo, glass or plastic material.

We usually recommend our clients to have cupping instrument at home to have some treatment after acupuncture by themselves. We guide our clients to use it. It is simple while quite useful. It is especially good for those who live far away from an acupuncture clinic. This is also very important for those of our clients who need long term treatment.

The possible side effect of the suction cup is pain due to the suction and blister on the skin. The pain can be reduced by lose little air in the cup. For small blister, we usually leave it to heal naturally without any need for treatment. If it is bigger, say, as a 1 cm diameter, it is broken with a sterilized acupuncture needle first, then covered with a medical tap. It needs several days to heal completely.

The suction therapy is only useful for a treatment, but also for an assessment of body condition by looking at the color of the skin after suction. A reddish skin color suggests that there is “Fire” toxic in the body. A black color suggests there is “Cold” and/or blood stagnation in the body. If there is more water moisture or even water blister, it suggests an accumulation of extra water in the body. For people with the water, suction therapy could make them much energized even if there is only very little water moved out of the body. So, the skin color change is one of the ways for TCM doctor to make TCM diagnosis.

Recently, people in China also reported to use the suction cupping therapy repeatedly for cure of very tough clinic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic liver disease, insomnia, chronic arthritis, chronic fatigue, etc. They apply the suction cup on the same skin spot every day for up to half year or one year. Each time the suction cup is kept for more than half hour or more until there are lots of liquid, which sometimes looks as abscess, in the cup. The liquid is removed and the skin is left as it is if there is broken of the skin. It is reported that the skin will heal by itself. Additional medicine is not needed. The procedure is repeated on the same spot again and again. Each healing period could last from one month to two months. One to three healing periods is commonly needed to completely “clear” the body and to reach the “cure”.

We normally do not apply such suction therapy to clients in the North America.