The color of the marks left after cupping may give your acupuncturist information on your underlying health. Dark purple marks indicate a lot of blood stagnation in the tissues. When blood sits in the muscles without adequate movement, it becomes deoxygenated. This deoxygenated blood has a darker color than freshly oxygenated blood, which will appear brighter red in color. For this reason, your acupuncturist can assess improvement in your overall condition based on the lightening of your cupping marks over multiple sessions. This can also help hone your provider in to the area that needs the most therapeutic attention.
While it is most common to use cupping for muscle pain, that’s not all it’s good for. The next time you come down with a cold or cough - call us up. Cupping has been shown to help with respiratory conditions and boosting the immune system. Some even find it can reduce their seasonal allergies. The cups can be left in one place for a few minutes, or you may feel your acupuncturist sliding the cups along your tissues to break up fascia and improve the movement of qi along a channel. Your acupuncturist may also use cupping to help with your overall pattern differentiation. Important acupuncture points lie on either side of the spine all along the back. These specific points relate to channels throughout the body which, when out of balance, can result in a set of predictable symptoms. By observing the cupping marks left after a 10-15 minute session, your acupuncturist can be better informed about your entire body’s constitution and state of balance.
Allison is a licensed Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist and Chinese Herbalist living and practicing in the beautiful city of Missoula, Montana.