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Gracilis Muscle Therapy - Breast Stroke Swimmer Conditioning

"The best thing with which you can treat sickness is cupping." - Prophet Mohammed

In the Chinese tradition, the evidence of the use of cupping therapy can be traced back to the early Han Dynasty. Ge Hong – a famous herbalist and alchemist during the Jin Dynasty is considered the first to use this technique in China. He strongly believed that with “cupping and acupuncture combined, more than 1/2 of the ills can be cured”. 

Chinese Cupping is an ancient alternative medicine that involves a licensed therapist putting special cups on the skin for a few minutes to generate suction. There are two types of cupping  - dry and wet cupping.

Dry cupping involves applying glass cups to the body. This is done by waving a burning cotton ball, that has been soaked in alcohol, through the cup quickly to create a vacuum. You do not feel the heat, but you will feel the cup pull up on the skin. Once attached, the cups will be left on between 5-10 minutes, and removed by pressing down on the skin to let the air out. They may leave a mark on the body, which could last between 2-12 days depending on the condition. This is a useful diagnostic tool! Depending on how dark the mark is, it indicates how much stagnation there is within the muscles.

Pain and other illnesses stem from the stagnation of circulation in the muscles and body tissues. Cupping improves the circulation in these areas and pain is alleviated and underlying health issues are often helped.

Wet cupping, also called “hijama,” takes the process of dry cupping a step further. Once the cup has been left in place for 3-5 minutes, the therapist administers little cuts to the raised skin allow to release of toxic blood and fluids. The therapist may apply pressure to speed up the fluid flow process, and another cup is placed on the same area to draw out the liquids.

The cups can be made from:

  • Glass

  • Bamboo

  • Earthenware

  • Silicone

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The Benefits of Cupping

The major benefit of cupping is increased blood flow, which helps increase the rate of healing in recovery from muscle fatigue, injuries, and other conditions.  Many athletes, including Michael Phelps and Dwane Johnson “The Rock” use cupping on muscle knots to help improve and keep up performance.

Cupping can be used to treat any of the following conditions:

  • Generalized pain

  • Herniated discs/disc degeneration

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Back, hip, and IT band pain

  • Pain in the shoulders, upper back or neck

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Scoliosis

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Arthritis

  • Insomnia

  • Detoxification

  • Weight loss

  • Certain respiratory issues, such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and chest congestion related to the common cold and flu


Cupping can be used as a standalone treatment and be combined with acupuncture. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). It pulls tension up, which can then be released by using acupuncture.  At Nature Care Wellness Dr. Cruz tries to incorporate all of the modalities that best fit your course of treatment, and so cupping is applied often in her treatment protocols

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