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Discover How Cupping Therapy Can Improve Respiratory Health

You most likely know people who have lived with a respiratory condition for some time, unaware that there was anything your massage could do to help ease their symptoms or discomfort.

The American Lung Association states that more than 34 million Americans struggle with such chronic lung conditions as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchitis. Research by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation estimates that approximately 40,000 Americans battle cystic fibrosis annually. Symptoms range from tension through the chest and ribs and unproductive coughing to general malaise and fatigue.

Many are unaware that their poor posture has led to a dysfunctional breathing pattern. This results in shallow breathing, headaches, anxiety, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and decreased cervical or thoracic range of motion. Poor function in our respiratory system can be just as troubling as poor posture or weak musculature.

Cupping for respiratory health can help clients breathe better.

Chronic inflammation radically alters the integral function of our lungs. Most commonly, it will decrease airflow, structurally change the airway, create scar tissue, and disrupt the delicate balance of the lungs’ immunological homeostasis, leading to a weakened immune system.

Inflammation can be found in the surrounding muscle tissue from continuous coughing, wheezing or shallow breathing. It can restrict the movement of blood, lymph, oxygen and other vital nutrients.

Throughout time, cups have been used for many purposes, including to help remove venom, balance the four humors, and aid physical and mental pain. Acupuncturists and physicians in other cultures have used cups for generations to quell coughs and colds. Today, Westerners are more familiar with cups for their ability to increase range of motion and reduce muscle pain. Recent research has indicated, further, the benefits of cupping for respiratory health

Increasing space is the best place to start when working to increase respiratory function. The negative pressure of cupping is perfect for this. The body naturally responds to the lifting of the muscle from the cup’s vacuum by stimulating the reflexive mechanoreceptors to assist in reducing muscle tension. Thus, restricted accessory muscles in the rib cage will have more freedom in their movement to expand during inspiration.

This lifting and decompressing of tissues will also help release stuck and adhered fascia. This will be valuable for any client with a respiratory condition or kyphotic or forward-head posture.

Long COVID can induce hypertension; therefore, even if someone is a long-time client, ask them if they are taking any new medications.

Women have an increased risk of developing postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which can dramatically drop blood pressure, resulting in dizziness and fainting upon standing. Remind the client to take their time when moving after their session. If need be, allow more time at the end of the session.

Your general therapeutic cupping considerations will always apply: if your clients have a clotting disorder: deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or thromboembolism, cupping is contraindicated.

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