Want the hot new cupping trend?

Ismat Tahseen | TNN | Jun 30, 2013, 12.00 AM IST

Want the hot new cupping trend?

The 'sucking skin' fad is hailed as the new detoxifying treatment and pain reliever among celebs.
If you see someone sporting a backless dress and marks that look like a round, red bruise, don't ask them what's wrong just yet. It's not a sign of abuse or injury, but the telltale marks are about a new fad that has caught the fancy of the West and may well be the next big thing here, too. It's called 'Cupping Therapy'. Jennifer Aniston showed off her cupping marks in a strapless top at the premiere of the film Call Me Crazy on April and she's not the only one to try it out. Victoria Beckham and now Denise Richards have all displayed cupped backs too. So, what's making folks go back to this ancient Chinese medicine technique?

What it is
The cupping trend is really a form of acupuncture treatment that involves hot glasses or cups pressed onto the skin. A flame is placed inside the cup and the heat builds a vacuum. Then the flame is removed and the cup is pressed onto the skin for a few minutes. This creates more vacuum. The suction is said to increase blood flow and rejuvenate the person. It's said to ebb away pain, and the relief is said to last up to a week, as per reports. There is also an increase in the flow of energy, making the person feel rejuvenated. What's more, there's no cause for concern as the unsightly, red marks on the skin are said to go away in a few days.

The new fad is hailed to aid blood flow, reduce toxin build up and give the skin a healthier glow. But can one try out this alternate health practice? Experts have mixed reactions. One says the cupping treatment is actually something that was used to cure pain in the early times. "It's the intense suction that helps this," she says. "Of course, now I have heard that it might be able to cure cellulite as well. In any case, though, it's a quick-fix. What you have to watch it your diet and lifestyle. Without these, nothing else works."
Another doctor states, "Cupping can relieve stress as if you have injured say your back or shoulder area, then the cupping tries to move the blood to move there and start the healing process." As per a report by the British Cupping Society, excessive suctioning can cause bruising. They warn that and delayed healing whilst poor wound management and anti-septic procedure can run the risk of skin infection. It is important to always receive treatment from trained health professionals. Also, those with skin conditions and any pre-existing ailments must ask the doctor before trying this. Effective or not, if you do try the new trend keep the concealer on standby. You will need it!

In a nutshell
As per the British Cupping Society, cupping has successfully been used to treat a range of medical conditions such as: blood disorders (anaemia, haemophilia), rheumatic diseases (arthritic joint and muscular conditions), skin problems (eczema, acne) as well as improving general physical and psychological well-being.