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Spring into Liver Potency with Cupping

Author: Adrienne Mak

Now is a huge time of transition. With the season shifting from winter to spring, we can feel our minds and bodies reacting to change. In Chinese medicine theory, this time period sees the elemental shift from water to wood. In organ theory this means we are moving from the time of the kidney into the time of the liver. With the current social and political climate and all of its attendant anxieties, it is important, now more than ever to take care of ourselves and each other. Times of distress are often the times during which we forget to take extra special care of our minds and bodies, and yet they are the times when we need it most. Now is a time that we want to pay attention to our liver qi and ensure that it is flowing naturally and smoothly, for when the liver qi is in pathology, we see this reflected in our emotions (and the difficulty we face in processing them), our bodies and the physical pain we feel, our moon cycles, and digestion.

Cupping therapy is a modality of Chinese Medicine that we use to detoxify the body, and encourage circulation of blood and lymph to specific areas. This helps to regulate the flow of Qi and invigorate the blood, thereby dissipating pain and removing toxins. Cupping is a therapy that has been used throughout history, in Traditional Chinese, Middle Eastern, and European medicinal practices. Cups can be made of bamboo and rubber, but are typically made of glass and plastic in modern practice. When using glass cups, a small cupping torch is lit and swirled around the inside of the cup to create heat that creates a vacuum to suction the cup to the skin. This process is not painful, though the patient will feel suction and a slight warmth emanating from the cup. Cups are applied to various areas of the body, commonly the back, shoulders, legs and arms. It is effective for strengthening and increasing energy, reducing acute & chronic pain, relaxing sore muscles, headaches, improving digestion, allergies, asthma, the common cold, and lots more. Releasing toxins helps to improve liver function. Cupping also enhances and builds immunity in particular regions, as the suction cupping causes release of histamines that stimulate your immune system response.

Now, more than ever, we need to be strong.

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