This week in the recovery series we explore the "ancient" medicine of cupping and acupuncture. Both have been around for some time and we've seen them used on many occasion. Especially in regards to cupping where we see high profile athletes such as Michael Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time partake in the service. We come onto the various reasons why for top athletes there may be some benefit. Our friend placebo is often mentioned in this episode. Remember you can listen to a full episode on placebo and nocebo here.
So what are cupping and acupuncture? The NHS in the UK classes both CAM (Complimentary and alternative medicines.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
The cups may be made of, Glass, Bamboo, Earthenware, and Silicone. There's also wet and dry cupping. Wet cupping is often associated with the "removal of toxins" some people also get “needle cupping,” in which the therapist first inserts acupuncture needles and then puts cups over them. Dry cupping is the safest due to wet cupping requiring an incision in the skin to draw blood.
Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventive purposes.
Acupuncture is used mainly to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, including:
Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines
Low back pain
Respiratory disorders, such as allergic rhinitis
So, some big claims here on benefits. We aren't so sure! Don't just take our word for it take a look at all the data linked down below!
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