We see a lot of pain and injury in our offices. Cupping is one of those things that looks mysterious but is really a straightforward therapy that provides quick, effective results.
There is a lot of buzz about Michael Phelps and his use of Cupping Therapy, so we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on this ancient therapy used in our office and all over the world.
The Basics on Cupping Therapy:
- Cupping Therapy is used on athletes and non-athletes alike.
- Tight muscles = stasis (stagnation of blood)
- Cupping Therapy breaks up stasis – the stagnation of blood, helps release connective tissue, and relaxes tight muscles.
- It does this by pulling deeper levels of blood to the surface, breaking the capillaries in the process. That’s what creates the bruise-like circles on Micheal Phelps.
- The body then moves to heal the capillaries and in the process brings fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the site, increasing blood flow and healing.
- It also boosts the immune system and is a wonderful therapy at the onset of a cold, knocking it out very quickly- sometimes within 24 hrs.
- There are different styles of cupping: fire cupping – which looks very mysterious – this uses the vacuum created by the fire to create the suction and help the glass cups “stick” to the skin and suction. There is also vacuum cupping where an apparatus helps the cups create the suction. Both work in the same manner as described above.
- Sometimes we slide the cups across the muscles, sometimes they stay stationary.
Cupping Therapy is very relaxing and works quickly to achieve results.
The cups are sterilized after each treatment. A cupping therapy session happens within your regular massage or acupuncture treatment and lasts about 10-20 minutes.
A study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than 70 percent of Americans consume more than the recommended daily amount of sugar. Sadly, most of us are addicted to sugar, which happens to be hidden in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Added sugar can cause a whole array of problems that can be short term as well as long term. If you are experiencing health problems, lowering your sugar intake may be one of your best options. Below are 6 truths about the ugly side of sweets.
Refined sugar has no nutritional value and it is recommended to consume as little as possible. The first step in eliminating sugar is from drinks such as soda, juice and mixed alcoholic drinks. Because of the large amounts of sweetener in these drinks, it can make them very addictive and hard to quit drinking.
Harms your liver
Sugar can be just as damaging on your liver as alcohol and lead to fatty liver disease. When you consume too much fructose, your body becomes insulin resistant resulting in various problems that can cause disease.
One study done in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that participants who ate the highest levels of added sugars showed the biggest increase in bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride blood fats and the lowest levels in the good cholesterol levels.
Leading cause of obesity
In America, sugar is one of the leading culprits of obesity. It is estimated that 80 percent of food products in the U.S. contain added sugar. The best way to lose weight and lower your risk of obesity is to eliminate all processed foods and drinks.
Bad for your teeth
It should be a no-brainer that sugar is bad for your teeth. You may remember growing up having the dentist tell you as a kid to eat less candy to prevent cavities. As an adult, we know it’s not only candy that will cause cavities, but sugar that is found in your favorite drinks and everyday foods as well. Best way to sustain healthy teeth and gums? Cut the processed and refined sugar.
Can lead to type 2 diabetes
When your body is consuming too much sugar, your glucose levels become too high, which can be toxic to the body. When this happens, your body has a harder time producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. This can then lead to type 2 diabetes.
According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture can be used as a complementary therapy in system management of cancer-related symptoms such as side effects to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, boosting blood cell count and improve natural killer cell activity.
The National Institutes of Health have confirmed that there is evidence acupuncture is effective in postoperative care, chemotherapy, nausea and vomiting.
In a study done by Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America, researchers found in a randomized placebo-controlled trial, acupuncture was proven effective for cancer patients with a variety of chronic pain and aiding in pain management. Acupuncture is found to have positive results as a complementary method to pain relief.
Acupuncture is a non-invasive treatment that works by addressing the body as a whole to release any blockages or stagnations in the body’s natural energy flow.
Researchers from the Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center found massage therapy to significantly reduce the pain of cancer and chemotherapy treatments, more so than conventional care.
Many cancer patients who receive chemotherapy report adverse side effects such as nausea, pain, muscle aches, weakness and fatigue. When these patients are treated with massage therapy, however, both the frequency and severity of these symptoms begins to subside. It doesn’t take many sessions before patients experience a positive improvement in their symptoms. While the study mentioned above lasted for seven weeks, many patients report an improvement in their symptoms after just a single session of massage therapy.
Lymphedema, a swelling in the arms or legs, is common among patients who have received treatment for breast cancer. Manual lymphatic therapy works by using a light touch to help move fluid out of the tissues. Although lymphedema is not curable, it can be manageable with lymphatic drainage treatment.
The lymphatic system is essential for overall health. This system absorbs fluid, toxins and waste from tissue where it can pass through lymph nodes to be filtered. Lymphedema happens when the lymphatic system is blocked. The drainage therapy can help release these blockages to let fluid flow as it should.
Natural Ways to Help Stay in Cancer Remission
Diet can be a huge factor for staying healthy during cancer remission. You want to treat your body as best you can to prevent cancer from coming back. Boosting your immunity is essential for keeping your body’s defense working as it should.
Berries are a no-brainer. Filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants, make sure you’re getting your daily dose of blueberries and raspberries to help prevent cancer from growing. Green tea is another must. This tea contains antioxidants that can help prevent cancer. Try drinking at least one cup a day. Make sure to be eating whole grains and leafy green vegetables as well to keep an overall healthy diet.
Stay away from environmental toxins
Environmental toxins are everywhere, sometimes in places we wouldn’t expect. It’s important to be aware of these toxins and avoid them when possible. Avoid radiation, tobacco smoke and direct sun as much as possible. Be aware of pesticides found in food. Make sure to buy organic produce and wash it thoroughly before eating. Avoid plastic water bottles that are made with BPA and choose a reusable BPA-free bottle instead.
Maintain a healthy weight/exercise
Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active is always important, but especially is important for those who have had cancer. By keeping your body active, you are keeping your immune system in check as well. If you feel you need to lose or gain weight after you cancer treatment, consider a year-long plan to get back to what is healthy for you. As for exercise, start off slow. Just by adding a 20-minute walk into your day you can start ramping up your immune system. Exercise is also great for mental health and wellbeing as well as staying in physical shape.
Don’t forget about your mental health
Cancer can be very traumatic, and so can treatment. You may have lingering feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression from the experience. If you feel anxious about the cancer returning, consider joining a support group or talking to a professional. Yoga and meditation have also been proven to help lower stress and anxiety. Your mental health is just as important as your physical and should be addressed.
May is known as Senior Citizens Month, a great time to reach out to your loved ones and check in on their health. As we age, our health needs change. It is especially important for seniors to take care of their health and do so in a way that is as natural as possible and does not require potentially harmful prescription drugs. Traditional Chinese Medicine and other alternative practices have been proven to help aid the aging process and chronic conditions that may come with it.
Acupuncture is a common treatment for chronic pain, which can be very beneficial for seniors. This centuries-old practice addresses the body as a whole by using specific acupuncture points to return the body back to its natural balance and relieve pain as well as other symptoms. Acupuncture treatment is non-invasive and is a great natural alternative to prescription medication.
It can get harder to stay active as we age. We may find that our bodies just don’t move like they used to. Yoga has many health benefits and can be incorporated into your daily routine. Yoga has been proven to help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This practice can also help keep your joints healthy and reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.
Massage therapy not only has physical health benefits but mental as well. This therapy can work to relieve pain, improve circulation and release tension. Massage is also an excellent stress reliever and can leave you feeling more relaxed and at ease.
Aromatherapy is a natural remedy that has been used for thousands of years. Aromatherapy involves breathing or applying essential oils to the body to help improve health. Different essential oils can have a large range of benefits. This therapy can help lower pain, increase a sense of well being and help improve sleep for patients with dementia.
As we age, we sometimes need different kinds of support and companionship. Animals have been proven to help adults with dementia and decrease a sense of loneliness. Animals can also help promote physical activity, which can increase mood and overall health.
Music therapy has been proven to be beneficial for seniors. This non-invasive therapy can help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and other chronic conditions. Calming music can also be helpful for adults with dementia and reduce behavioral symptoms.
Fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which work as a natural anti-inflammatory. Some of the best fish to consume include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, which are all rich in omega-3s. The recommended weekly amount is around six to eight ounces of fish. Of course, be careful to choose fish that have been sustainably caught in cleaner waters.
Healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado and safflower oils are packed with healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties.
Because it contains sulforaphane, broccoli has been shown to slow and prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, C and calcium, which is known to help strengthen bones.
Green tea has many health benefits, one including reducing pain of arthritis. The tea is full of antioxidants that work to lower inflammation and the disintegration of cartilage.
Fruits like oranges, limes and grapefruits are very acidic and full of vitamin C. Vitamin C can help aid healthy joints for those with arthritis and work as an anti-inflammatory.
Beans are beneficial for many reasons. They are a great alternative to meat for protein and are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. Red beans, kidney beans and pinto beans are known to improve muscle health and the heart and immune system.
Having a natural and well-rounded diet is a part of any healthy lifestyle, but can be especially beneficial for arthritis and chronic pain.
There are more than 80 chronic illnesses that are immune related including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and celiac disease.
Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body’s tissues. Immune deficiency is more common than most people think; around 20 percent of the population suffers from some form of an autoimmune disorder, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.
Although symptoms vary greatly depending on the specific disease, commons symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness, weight loss, dry eyes and abdominal pain.
Autoimmune diseases are not always easily treated, as they are a chronic illness with no known cure. However, there are natural ways to ease and reduce symptoms such as acupuncture treatment.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that immune deficiencies come from an imbalance in the body. When there is a stagnation in the body’s natural energy flow, called Qi, the body becomes out of balance, whether it is from a deficiency or excess of yin or yang.
Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. By using specific acupuncture points on the body, the treatment is able to release any blockages and return the body back to its natural balance.
Research has shown that acupuncture can affect the release of hormones, proteins and chemicals in the body, which can affect blood pressure and the immune system.
Although there is no cure, immune deficiencies can be managed properly to have the best quality of life possible. Acupuncture has also been shown to help boost mood and lower stress and anxiety, which can be triggers for increased symptoms.
If you think you may have an autoimmune disease and are not getting a diagnosis, don’t give up. Immune deficiencies are hard to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms. It may take multiple doctors to get a correct diagnosis.
Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive treatment option that can decrease symptoms and improve overall well being.