I decided to write this article to raise awareness for using cupping for anxiety and other associated mental health and wellness benefits.
I’ve had a number of cupping – or Ventosa as it’s also called – treatments over the years and I absolutely love how I feel afterward.
I have used cupping to help with both physical and mental wellness. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional meds to help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression I recommend taking a closer look at cupping.
Here’s a closer look at what cupping therapy is, and how it can help you:
What Is Cupping?
Cupping is an interesting form of therapy. It’s a traditional Chinese medicine and was developed as a way to stimulate the flow of qi around the body.
Yet, it’s become popular in the western world as there is a good deal of science to back up the fact that it has some physical and mental wellness applications.
There are a few different types of cupping. But essentially they all involve placing cups against your skin, then creating a vacuum inside by warming the air.
This creates suction and draws the tissue up into the cup. The result is increased blood flow to the area, which stimulates your body’s natural healing process amongst other things.
It’s very similar to a deep tissue massage in a lot of ways. The application is very different, however, and a lot of people (myself included) find cupping a lot more effective at pain relief.
What Are the Benefits of Cupping?
There is still ongoing research into the benefits of cupping, and new studies are coming to light all the time.
According to the British Cupping Society and WebMD, the main known benefits are:
- Lowering blood pressure and helping with blood disorders
- Relieving pain for rheumatic diseases
- Reducing the number of and relieving pain from migraines and headaches
- Treating varicose veins
- Treating skin problems such as acne and eczema
- Relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression
A lot of people just go for cupping therapy sessions as they would a massage, to feel better. You don’t have to have a specific ailment or condition that needs attention.
How Does Cupping Help With Anxiety?
Cupping helps with anxiety in a similar way to other forms of massage, it relaxes you, stimulates the release of feel-good hormones, and lowers your cortisol levels.
Anxiety affects people in different ways. It’s the multiple ways that cupping helps reduce anxiety that makes it so effective for so many people.
For some people, the reduction in pain and tension, and the improved circulation cupping offers is enough to help reduce their stress levels.
Some people benefit from lowering their blood pressure. While others see and feel a reduction in their anxiety levels as cupping heals specific health issues like lessening migraines or healing a muscle injury.
Like other forms of massage, I urge anyone interested to give cupping a try before making up their mind.
It offers a truly unique experience, both physically and mentally. The first time I had a session I left feeling rejuvenated, I had a warm glow and a somewhat profound feeling over it.
Hard to explain in words, you absolutely have to try it.
What to Do After Cupping: Aftercare Tips
The first thing everyone talks about is the bruising or “cupping marks”.
You’ve probably seen them on professional athletes. They look like purple circles, because, well they are purple circles.
This is because the suction of the cups pulled blood to the surface of the skin. It’s perfectly normal and will clear up in a week or so.
As for cupping aftercare, it’s recommended that you do not shower right away or wear tight clothes over the area that was treated.
Allow the area to get fresh air, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated (don’t drink alcohol), and don’t do any hard exercise.
You might feel drained the next day. This is also normal and similar to how you might feel after a deep tissue massage. But you’ll soon be feeling a lot better than you did before the treatment.
Related – Read this post for more on what to expect after cupping.
In Summary – Should You Use Cupping for Anxiety?
You should absolutely try cupping if you’re dealing with some anxiety or depression, yes.
I say this because I know how I feel mentally rejuvenated after ventosa, and I’ve read accounts from lots of other people that say the same.
The technique removes toxins while stimulating blood circulation and healing. You may have a brief “dull” feeling as your body sheds those toxins, but afterward, you’re going to feel amazing.
Just a reminder, please always go to a qualified professional for treatment and act under the advice of a medical professional.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.