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Cupping it for me?

Cupping, what can it be used for?

JENNIFER Aniston's done it. Gwyneth Paltrow made it famous and now, even rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has tried it. The Chinese art of cupping is gaining in popularity; with most acupuncturists and some massage therapists offering it in conjunction with their services. It is even mentioned in the "bible" of sports medicine, Brukner and Kahn's Clinical Sports Medicine (Peter Brukner and Karim Khan). Most commonly used as a form of pain relief, traditionally, small glass cups are heated by fire and placed on the skin in order to draw impurities to the surface.

Recently, Williams posted a selfie on Instagram picturing his back covered in the small, circular marks commonly left after receiving a cupping treatment. Williams' manager Khoder Nasser said cupping was very "big" in Islamic culture, of which both he and Williams practise. "It's seen as being extremely beneficial to your health and is one of the cures for diseases," Mr Nasser said. As to whether or not practicing cupping could improve an athlete's game, performance psychologist Dr Phil Jauncey said there was currently no evidence or research to suggest it.

"Medically speaking, cupping does seem to help with relaxing muscles or joints," Dr Jauncey said. "If cupping physiologically helps you to play better, that's great, but if you're doing it for psychological reasons, that's not good because you're telling your brain you can't perform unless you feel good, which is not true."

While it appears to be the latest fad in alternative medicine, cupping dates back as early as 1500BC and is one of the techniques used as part of traditional Chinese medicine. "It's a really unique form of therapy and it feels wonderful," "Cupping is very effective and what it does is it has this ability to draw impurities out of the body."

Acupuncturist Jodi Baldry from Moxa Natural Therapies, West End, extolled its health benefits and said cupping had helped many of her clients combat pain. "We think that pain is associated with chi or blood not moving as well as it should," Ms Moxa said. "We put cups on in order to increase the circulation to a healthy state." Amanda Dinsdale has seen Ms Moxa once a week for more than 10 years for cupping on her chest and back.

"I really feel that it draws a lot of impurities out of you; for me, it quickly purges things from my body and draws it to the surface," Ms Dinsdale said. "I feel it moves the energy through my body and helps to release things emotionally and physically."

University of Queensland honorary professor in medicine Luis Vitetta said it was hard to say whether or not cupping was effective, as not enough research had been done in Western medicine. "It's a therapy ... that can be found in Egyptian medical literature, but does that constitute evidence? I don't think it does, (but) if it's been used for that long, there must be something to it," Prof Vitetta said.

"From a research opinion, it would be nice to do a robust study on it but without evidence-based research, we cannot go forward; it is a fad at the moment."

Cupping: What is it?

Cupping is the act of placing small circular cups which have been heated (usually by flame) upon the surface of the skin. Generally, cups are placed on "fleshier" areas of the body including the back, chest, thighs or forearms. Sometimes cups are placed locally, in a specific area where massage doesn't cut it.

What's it meant to do?

According to the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) it is used to treat a broad range of conditions ranging from muscle tension, sprains, strains and injuries, through to respiratory tract infections (particularly the first stages of cold and flu) and gastrointestinal disorders. It is also used to boost fertility. the content above is taken from a News Ltd article...



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