At Orchards End we offer cupping therapy as a healing modality to complement our holistic diet and expedite detoxification. Cupping is an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that involves suctioning or vacuuming sections of the body. The cups are heated by swabbing rubbing alcohol on the bottom and then lighting the cup or by placing an inverted cup over a flame to aid in suctioning. Once the cups are suctioned to the skin, they are slid across much like a massage. As the skin and superficial muscle layer are drawn into the cup, stagnant blood and lymph are mobilized. The negative pressure provided by cupping loosens muscles and increases blood flow, drawing out toxins, calming the nervous system, and restoring imbalances in the flow of energy (chi or qi). There are various methods of cupping available today. Traditionally, pottery, bronze, and bamboo cups are used. Silicone cupping therapy is now available to limit bruising that occurs from air pressure. For easy movement of the cups along the meridians – the path through which TCM believes energy flows – some TCM practitioners apply oil to the skin before placing the cups upside down, directly onto the skin. Depending on the conditions being treated, cups are typically left in place for a period of five to fifteen minutes.