By Beth-ellen Zang, LMT, AHE, CNC This article originally appeared in Massage Today April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04.
Used properly, cups can facilitate the body’s ability to stay healthy and return itself to a balanced state when things do go awry. In working with infants, toddlers and weak or frail children, it’s important to use the small face cups.
After two years of age, you can begin using the larger, stronger vacuum cups carefully. Cupping addresses issues like colic, mastoiditis and ear infections, teething, asthma and lung conditions, magnets for bumps bruises and pain, easing soft tissue through growth spurts, muscle spasms (charley horse), scoliosis, indigestion, headache, fevers, sprains, swellings, nervous system sedation, excess excitation like crying and irritability, trouble falling asleep, ADHD and so much more.
First of all, no matter what issue is being presented, the first thing to do is evaluate the situation.
- Hot or cold?
- Wet or dry?
- Excess or deficiency?
Less is better when treating anyone young or old. Be careful not to over treat. If an infant is having problems with colic, slow and gentle cupping techniques could help calm the nerves and help to draw fluid into the digestive system. Many infants have trouble calming down and cry for hours. Cups can facilitate the calming of the nervous system and help them relax.
In the case of ear infections and mastoiditis, teething and other head related issues, keeping the lymph flowing and muscle tissue soft can help relieve related pain and distress. With lymph flowing and a relaxed system, the body can concentrate on correcting itself and often the problem does not exacerbate or can run its course quickly.
Small cups with magnets attached can help relieve pain from bumps and bruises. They may help keep blood and lymph flowing so the area can heal more quickly.
During growth spurts, children often experience muscle spasms. Using specific techniques with the cups to sedate the central nervous system, softening the muscle tissue can help alleviate a lot of suffering for some children.
Lung issues can be greatly helped either by stimulating stagnancy or clearing congestion, helping to drain excess liquid from lungs or draw water towards them. It is very important to evaluate and apply appropriately.
Using cups to sedate the central nervous system can be invaluable if you have a child with ADD or ADHD.
Keeping the fluids in balance, the central nervous system calm and muscle tissues relaxed assists in the continued health of the body and contributes to the correction of body distress when it is out of balance.
I first started using the cups with my grandchildren. My grandson had pneumonia. I arrived at their house and he was extremely uncomfortable and could not breathe without pain. I spent about half an hour gently treating his whole body to relax him and then concentrating on his lung area as he relaxed more. He got up feeling great and breathing without any problems whatsoever. He continued to feel better and never relapsed. He went back to school two days later with a clean bill of health from his doctor.
Recently, an injured two-year old was brought into my office. She had had a pretty terrible fall on her face and had whiplash. She had a constant headache and backache. It took about fifteen minutes of gentle cupping technique mostly on the spine area, neck and some on her face around the nasal bones and mandible areas. One session had her back to her old self again.