Banki – Cupping Therapy: Russian Alternative Medicine for Pain, Immunity & Digestion
Negative Pressure, or suction, is used to rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosen & lift connective tissue, break up and drain stagnation while increasing blood & lymph flow to the skin & muscles in ways not possible using compression techniques.Very little is known in the western world about Russian Cupping – Banki and its heritage. Russian culture believes that cold, cold air, dampness, and cold and wet areas will draw illness into your body. Thus, Russians would soak in a hot bath rather than take a shower (to heat up the body), or when suffering from a common cold or flu, drink warm or hot fluids like tea or soup. The heat which is generated by Banki is seen as extracting the cold and dampness out of the body.
The philosophy and procedure of Russian Cupping – Banki is similar to Chinese Cupping, the difference is movement, no fire and no bruises. Results are immediate and often long lasting.
Chinese cupping: the glass cups are being heated and applied along the meridian lines and stay stationary. The inside of the glass cup is heated by a candle or flame to remove the oxygen from the cup, thus creating a suction effect when placed onto the skin and leave bruises.
Russian cupping: silicon Banki (old version glass cups are being heated) and moved in a circular motion on the body. The movement of the cups in circular motion over a muscle-bulk creates a friction effect which greatly assists in breaking up scar tissue and allowing the circulation to increase, which in turns eases the muscle spasm and tensions around the area. This results in immediate relief of pain.
The Soviet period in the history of Russia is considered to be “the golden age” of Banki – they were prescribed if a patient suffered from productive cough or headache, toothache or wrick, stomachache or twists. They were inexpensive and immensely popular regardless of the social position or income of the family.
Today Banki are more a remnant of times past than a frequently used healthcare product. Cream was to be rubbed into the skin and Banki were to be applied with different pressure for no more than ten minutes. Children especially loved falling ill and being forced to lie still while the doctor applied the Banki to their backs, as the whole procedure guaranteed a week’s vacation from school and special care from their parents.
And for good reason. Banki therapy has a host of health benefits that can often outweigh modern medicine techniques.
One of the biggest advantages to trying alternative practices like Banki therapy, acupuncture or massage therapy is that these methods don’t pose the risk for unwanted side effects like pharmacological drugs or surgery do. It’s common for Banki to be used along with massage therapy, essential oils, acupuncture or even as an adjunct to “ Western medicine” treatments.
In fact, there’s really no downside to trying alternative practices like Banki, since studies show they can help boost immune function and speed up healing time without the use of any medications or even herbs. And these are just some of the benefits of cupping therapy.
5 Benefits of Russian Cupping – Banki Therapy
What we do know from the scientific studies that have been done is that cupping works by expanding the capillaries and increasing the amount of fluid entering flow to areas of the body that are experiencing inflammation, prone to low lymphatic circulation or poor blood flow. Besides this, cupping therapy provoke a relaxation response in some people, which means it’s useful for lowering stress and its negative effects. Five ways that cupping to help you:
1. Helps Reduce Pain
One of the most common reasons people turn to alternative treatment methods is because they’re looking for a safe way to naturally reduce joint pain and muscle pain. After reviewing dozens of randomized clinical trials testing cupping therapy in patients with pain of any origin, a report published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that cupping significantly reduced pain in people with low back issues compared to usual care treatments, showed positive effects in treating cancer pain compared with anticancer drugs and analgesics.
Cupping is thought to release tissues deep inside the body, relax tense muscles and ease stiffness associated with chronic back and neck pains, migraines, rheumatism, and fatigue. Some athletes have been known to use cupping therapy to naturally improve performance and reduce stiffness, muscle cramps, joint pains and scar tissue caused by injuries.
Cupping targets soft tissue by applying local pressure to pain points and areas of swelling. As blood flow increases within vessels and capillaries, tissues receive much-needed nutrients and oxygen. Using pressure and suctioning above or below the site of injury, allowing for energy to travel along the “channels” (meridians) that pass through the injury or post op recovery.
2. Promotes Relaxation
It might seem counteractive, but cupping often helps alleviate physical complaints and allows people to enter a more relaxed state since it sedates the central nervous system. This is similar to acupuncture, which you might assume uncomfortable but actually seems to help lower most patients’ stress responses and therefore offers protection against anxiety and depression.
How can cupping be relaxing? Just the act of laying still and being “taken care of” during cupping therapy sessions might have a positive effect on someone’s psychological well-being, which could be one reason why it’s used to lower mental illnesses. Once the cups are placed down and suctioned, they might need to remain still for up to 20 minutes, which forces stillness and silence on patients who might otherwise lead very hectic lives. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, another reason cupping is soothing is because the cups help lift pressure in tense muscles, which offers a relieving sensation just like receiving a deep tissue massage.
3. Boosts Skin and Tissue Health
Cupping is used to reduce cellulite, stretch marks and scars. They do this by helping accumulated toxins to be released, blockages to be cleared, and veins and arteries to open up. It can necessarily help with weight loss, the fact that it tones and firms skin by improving blood flow and expanding capillaries makes it popular among celebrities and people in the spotlight who want to appear to have toned skin.
Using acupuncture and cupping simultaneously is that together they target skin or tissue that have tightened up in response to an injury that has caused fibers to stick together and white blood cells to become stuck. As part of a skin-clearing or cellulite treatment, oil is commonly first applied to the skin before the cups are suctioned and moved around, bringing heat to the area along with various skin-healing ingredients depending on the type of oil used. Visibly firm skin, loose inches & weight, reduce cellulite, stretch marks, scars, spider veins.
4. Helps Treat Respiratory Issues and Colds
Commonly used to help nourish the lungs and clear away phlegm or congestion, cupping therapy can be useful for speeding up healing time from respiratory illnesses like the flu or common colds. Cupping helps improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which is why it’s been associated with reductions in lung diseases (especially chronic coughs), allergies, infections and asthma.
5. Improves Digestion
Acupuncture and cupping are both popular ways to improve digestion and reduce symptoms from disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This might primarily be because they can lower a patient’s stress response, which is highly tied to healthy digestive functioning.
Throughout history, cupping therapy has been found to be beneficial for people with frequent stomach pains, diarrhea, acute gastritis, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal diseases and water retention. For digestive disturbances, cupping is commonly performed in the following areas: around the navel, over the bladder, around the kidneys or over the stomach.
Wondering if cupping really works? A 2012 report published in the Journal PLoS ONE reviewed 135 studies on cupping therapies published between 1992 and 2010. Researchers concluded that cupping is more than just a placebo effect — it has benefits similar to acupuncture or herbal treatments for treating various digestive, hormonal and inflammatory diseases.
The British Cupping Society, which promotes cupping and helps patients find qualified cupping practitioners, states that cupping therapy can treat a variety of conditions safely, including:
Respiratory problems-pneumonia, bronchitis
Blood disorders, such as anemia and hemophilia
Joint pain caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia
Migraine and tension headaches
Muscle aches and stiffness
Fertility and gynecological disorders
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Mental disorders, anxiety and depression, chronic stress
Food allergies and asthma
Varicose veins and cellulite
TO BOOST WELL-BEING
Magnetic cups are other options.
Magnetic micro-cups allow for Cupping therapy to be used for injuries and pain management, neuropathy, scar reduction, joint issues, and scoliosis. Reflexology treatments for the hands, feet and face are easily enhanced with micro-cup magnets, and they can also be used with knowledge of trigger points, neuro-lymphatic points and shiatsu techniques.
Magnetic Acupressure Suction Cupping is a modern development based on traditional cupping. It produces the effects of traditional cupping methods and eliminates some of the disadvantages. The skin is pressed up against the magnetic “needles” or points, when they are used. Magnetic Acupressure Cups are also included are magnetic “needles” (non-penetrating pressure-giving points) of both polarities, which give balanced magnetic exposure of traditional acupuncture points. The tips of cups are magnetic; made from rare-earth permanent magnetic alloy with surface magnetic field >= 2500 gauss. Using N(North pole) -tip and S(South pole)-tip together at the same time to increase the magnetic strength. The magnetic tips apply a continuous, spring-adjusted pressure on the skin when installed. The main functions of acupressure are to redistribute and balance the body’s energy by stimulating acupoints. It helps to open the circulation in the vicinity of the acupoints and draw toxins out through the skin. Magnetic fields can support and intensify the energy balancing effects of acupressure. These fields also act to stimulate or relax tissues (depending on the magnetic pole applied) on the cellular level.
MAGNETIC TIPS PRESS instead Needles
The Magnetic Acupressure Cups are designed to Maximizes Effectiveness and extremely popular as an enhancement to well-being and a way of relieving aches and strains. Everyone can receive this convenient and effective treatment. The cup and magnetic tip stay fixed on the body without piercing the skin. Several, or dozens, of the cups can be applied at one time, much the same as stimulating acupoints by many needles simultaneously. Magnetic fields are thought to promote healing by speeding the rate of charged ion and gas diffusion through cellular membranes. They have also been found to be effective in reducing pain, especially in muscles and joints, apparently through interactions that alter nerve signal transmission.
Suction Cups also can use for Breast Massage. The breast massage approach utilizes the stimulation and relaxation of muscles in the chest to enhance breast wellness.
Counter-indications: Magnetic Acupressure therapy is not recommended for some diabetics, pregnant women, patients suffering from bleeding problems-hemophiliacs, with open ulcers or edematous areas of individuals with skin allergies or people with pacemakers or other electronic implants. Magnetic acupressure will normally induce a sensation of tingling or a sort of electric spark sensation, both at the acupoints and sometimes elsewhere in the body. These sensations are a normal and expected part of the therapy process. Clinical studies conducted in Japan did not find any indications of side effects.
◆ The Magnetic Acupressure procedure lasts 15-35 minutes. The medical course is individual.
Almost any massage therapy modality can be enhanced by the addition of cupping therapy bodywork. The wide range of devices and tools that are now available allows for a variety of applications and benefits.
Another ancient tool with modern applications and exciting results!
Cupping might sound a bit scary to someone who’s new to the practice, but rest assured that cupping isn’t usually painful, it’s common to feel some heat and tightness around the cup, and many people find this to actually be relaxing and soothing.
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