Among all the therapies used in traditional Chinese medicine, cupping and scraping (also known as guasha) stand out as some of the most commonplace and well-known treatments. Since they came into existence about 2,000 years ago, practitioners have used them to treat a variety of ailments including respiratory dysfunction, hypertension, stiffness, pain and even poor skin health.


How cupping and scraping work

Over time, factors such as malnutrition, inactivity, smoking, stress and age can cause your circulatory system to become less efficient. This interferes with the delivery of freshly oxygenated blood to cells and tissues, which then impairs their ability to perform basic metabolic processes like repair and reproduction.

It also means that the circulatory system is less good at flushing out ruptured fat cells and waste. All of this can result in a stagnant metabolism that could have implications on your health, appearance and quality of life.

On top of weight gain, other physical symptoms you may experience include numbness or coldness in limbs, poor appetite, indigestion, as well as general fatigue. Your complexion may also appear more lackluster than usual.

Cupping and scraping are well-suited to jumpstart your circulatory engine, allowing your metabolism to function at optimal levels again.

If you’ve never tried cupping or scraping, think of cupping as a reverse deep-tissue massage. With cupping, practitioners place cups on selected points along your skin surface, creating a suction that opens up capillaries. This mobilises fresh blood flow into the site of application. With scraping, a blunt handheld tool is applied on the problem area in broad high-pressure strokes. Likewise, this process stimulates stagnating blood in lymphatic tissue while pulling metabolic waste to the skin surface.

Depending on the severity of stagnation, these treatments may leave marks on your body that last about a week. However, with repeated sessions, the discolourations should disappear more rapidly.

Both treatments are safe with no side effects, and they certainly offer more benefits over wait-and-see approaches such as using analgesics or getting bed rest. However, as with any changes to your health regimen, be sure to consult a doctor first especially if you are pregnant or are suffering from a preexisting chronic condition.  


Should you choose cupping or scraping?

Many of their benefits overlap. According to traditional Chinese medicine, cupping excels in treating symptoms stemming from chronic conditions. This can encompass respiratory problems, hypertension, as well as joint pain.

On the other hand, scraping is appropriate for more general or short-term frailties. This can manifest in the form of poor sleep, poor immunity or poor circulation.

If you have larger portions of your body that need to be treated, cupping could be more effective. If the area to be treated is small, uneven, or covered with hair (such your fingers or scalp), scraping therapy offers more targeted precision.


What cupping is best for

1. Respiratory problems
Those suffering from chronic congestion, coughs or cold may find relief in cupping.

One study in the bimonthly Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences found that research participants who tried cupping had more promising oxygenation levels than the control group even after 12 hours. The participants also felt livelier and reported an improvement in respiratory function after their cupping sessions.

2. Hypertension
Consider cupping as a complementary approach if you have long-standing high blood pressure.

A report published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine concluded that cupping is a fast-acting solution for lowering blood pressure levels. Even after four weeks, study participants had lower blood pressure levels compared to participants in the control group. Although the effects were less prominent after eight weeks, cupping is a good complement to your current treatment as far as meds-free processes go.

3. Knee pain
Even the most basic movements is painful when you have knee problems. Moreover, further degeneration can occur if there’s poor blood supply to your joints.

Cupping helps by recruiting oxygenated blood to slow-healing body parts, and research proves that it helps. Patients who did cupping had 2.6 times more pain relief than participants who used an anti-inflammatory analgesic gel. Furthermore, those who received cupping also performed significantly stronger on a walking test than those who did not. 


What scraping is best for

1. Stiffness and pain
Scraping is a popular treatment for targeting aches in the neck and lower back. It is also effective for relieving muscular tightness.

Similar to the Graston technique used by physical therapists and chiropractors, which is likely to be a derivative of scraping therapy, scraping works by breaking up deep-seated scar tissue under the skin. This resulting inflammation in the troubled site then triggers your body’s healing response.

2. Poor circulation
When you have poor blood circulation, it can result in constant coldness or numbness (especially in your extremities) and a pale appearance. You may also experience constant lethargy.

In one American study, scraping was found to improve circulation by four times with no adverse reactions.

3. Poor immunity
If you seem to catch every bug out there, scraping may help as an all-natural immunity booster.

One study shared that scraping helps to guard against oxidative stresses that increase your susceptibility to illnesses by harming your cells. In another study, animals with hepatitis showed lower levels of liver inflammation after scraping.


Combining cupping and scraping for weight loss

When our metabolism slows with age, it takes a toll on our weight and overall health. With a slow metabolism, maintaining and losing weight often feels like an uphill battle even with regular exercise and healthy eating habits.

As part of our signature CSH therapy, we combine cupping and guasha to promote weight loss by firing up your metabolism, resulting in fast, natural and long-lasting weight loss. The best part: There is no exercise, extreme diets or slimming supplements involved. 

In most of our clients, this results in 4 to 6kg of weight loss in 4 weeks on top of full-body inch loss*. Since 2002, we have helped thousands of satisfied customers to reach their ideal weight.

Make the first step to transform yourself in 4 weeks. Book an appointment today.


*Results may vary between individuals.