If you have chronic or reoccurring muscle pain, chances are good that you’ve tried everything under the sun to try to get rid of it. Living with muscle pain, especially chronic muscle pain syndrome can be one of the most unpleasant things a person can deal with, since the pain never really goes away. All you can try to do is find methods to alleviate it a little. In the face of chronic muscle pain, over-the-counter medications, or massage therapy usually provides very little long-term relief from the pain.
If you’ve been living with chronic muscle pain, it may be time to try something…a little old. The cure to chronic muscle pain that we recommend isn’t exactly a type of advanced modern treatment. Instead, it’s a practice that’s been around for thousands of years, and is an example of one of the earliest treatments for sore muscles.
An Ancient Practice for Modern Times
Cupping is an ancient practice that is making a big comeback that has been proven to be an effective way to help treat chronic muscle pain. It’s a close cousin of acupuncture, and it’s slightly unconventional methods of muscle pain relief have been making a big impression on doctors lately. A 2011 study conducted by the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany had 50 randomly selected patients with chronic neck pain undergo a cupping treatment for their pain. Levels of pain were recorded one day before the treatment, and three days after it. By the end of study, 45% of the patients had a noticeable reduction in pain. The study concluded “a single application of traditional cupping might be an effective treatment for improving pain, quality of life, and hyperalgesia in CNP (chronic neck pain)”. To anyone suffering from this ailment, that’s definitely promising news.
What Exactly Is It?
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Cupping involves having a practitioner placing glass cups on the effected areas of the body where pain is occurring. The glass cups create suction that draws the skin upward into a little bubble under the glass. The suction that is caused by the practice is meant to free up and balance the flow of qi (say CHEE), or life energy in the body, according to Bryn Clark, a licensed acupuncturist. Cupping also aids blood circulation and muscle relaxation. The practitioner may create suction either by using a flame to burn the oxygen from the cup and then applying the cup to your skin or by placing the cup on you first and then removing the air through a valve. Bruising can sometimes occur from the suction, but it clears up in 5-10 days like any normal bruising.
What Else Can Cupping Therapy Do?
Cupping has been traditionally used to treat a wide number of common ailments, including a few that you might not expect. Some common complaints that make practitioners turn to cupping include;
- Colds and sinus problems
- High blood pressure
- Hot flashes
- Painful or irregular periods
The blood circulation and muscle relaxation that the cupping promotes can have all kinds of tangible health benefits that really seem to work.
If you’re interested in seeking out the wisdom of the ancients and turning to cupping for relief of your muscle pain, you can visit nccaom.org to find a practitioner certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
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