- Energy Flow Acupuncture & Wellness Center24W500 Maple Ave Suite 203D
Naperville, IL 60540630-335-1069
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Cupping Therapy in Naperville for Muscle Recovery
Cupping therapy, an ancient alternative medicine, has been used for thousands of years to promote healing and overall wellness. With its origins in traditional Chinese medicine, this technique has gained popularity recently among athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking to improve muscle recovery. In this article, we will delve into the mechanics of cupping therapy, its effects on muscle recovery, and the benefits it offers.
The Mechanics of Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy involves the placement of special cups on the skin to create suction. The cups can be made of glass, silicone, or bamboo, and the suction can be generated by heating the air inside the cup or using a mechanical device. The suction pulls the skin, underlying tissues, and muscles upwards into the cup, causing the skin to redden as blood vessels expand.
The procedure stimulates blood flow, releases muscle tension, and alleviates pain. The cups are typically placed for 5-20 minutes, depending on the desired effect and the practitioner’s recommendations. While some people may experience minor discomfort during the treatment, most find it to be a relaxing and therapeutic experience.
Effects on Muscle Recovery
Cupping therapy has been found to help muscle recovery in several ways, including:
Increased Blood Flow: The suction created by the cups stimulates blood flow to the treated area, increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This increased circulation can help to remove metabolic waste and promote faster recovery.
Reduced Inflammation: The cups’ negative pressure can help reduce inflammation by drawing stagnant blood and toxins away from the muscles. This action allows for the restoration of healthy circulation and promotes healing.
Muscle Relaxation: Cupping therapy can help to relax tight muscles by lifting and stretching the muscle fibers. This can alleviate tension and help to restore a healthy range of motion, reducing the likelihood of injury and improving overall performance.
Myofascial Release: The suction created during cupping therapy can help to release restrictions in the myofascial tissues that surround the muscles. This can help to improve mobility and flexibility and reduce pain and discomfort.
Pain Relief: By stimulating the release of endorphins and promoting relaxation, cupping therapy can help to alleviate muscle pain and soreness, making it an effective adjunct to other pain management techniques.
Benefits of Cupping Therapy for Quick Recovery
Implementing cupping therapy into your recovery routine can provide several advantages:
Faster Recovery Times: Cupping therapy’s ability to promote increased blood flow, reduce inflammation, and relax muscles leads to accelerated recovery, enabling you to return to regular activities more quickly.
Enhanced Performance: The relaxation of muscles and improved range of motion resulting from cupping therapy can improve overall performance during athletic activities.
Injury Prevention: Cupping therapy helps to maintain healthy, flexible muscles, decreasing the likelihood of injury during physical activity.
Increased Well-being: Cupping therapy’s relaxation and pain relief can contribute to a greater sense of physical and mental well-being.
Complementary Therapy: Cupping therapy can be combined with other recovery techniques, such as massage, stretching, and foam rolling, to create a comprehensive, personalized recovery plan.
Incorporating cupping therapy into your muscle recovery regimen can offer several benefits, such as:
Faster Recovery Times: By promoting increased blood flow, reducing inflammation, and relaxing muscles, cupping therapy can help to speed up the recovery process, allowing you to return to your regular training routine more quickly.
Improved Performance: Relaxed muscles and increased range of motion can enhance overall performance during athletic activities. Additionally, the myofascial release provided by cupping therapy can help alleviate restrictions limiting your performance.
Reduced Risk of Injury: Cupping therapy can help to maintain healthy, supple muscles, decreasing the likelihood of injury during physical activity.
Enhanced Overall Well-being: The relaxation and pain relief associated with cupping therapy can contribute to a greater sense of well-being, both physically and mentally.
Complementary Therapy: Cupping therapy can be used with other recovery techniques, such as massage, stretching, and foam rolling, to create a comprehensive muscle recovery plan tailored to your needs.
Why probiotics For Women
There are a dizzying array of probiotic products out there, so how do you know which to choose? Are they all pretty much the same? When do you need them? What are they needed for?
Probiotics for a healthy Vaginal Ecology
For those who tend to yeast infections, odors, unusual discharge, or dryness, itchiness, or any imbalance, a probiotic geared toward female health can make a huge difference, both in treating and preventing. The difference is that these bacterial strains are those typically found in a healthy vaginal ecosystem, versus other bacterial strains that are found in other ecosystems of the body. I typically have a patient take 1-2 capsules daily, and women often notice an immediate improvement! So easy, and there are no negative side effects.
Probiotics for Immunity
Our immune system is engaged every day as we encounter all kinds of viruses and bacteria and other microbes in our environment and our food. There are several places in our bodies that are susceptible, more or less for different people. We also are walking around with varying internal microbial environments, and not always ideal. Antibiotic use is a major culprit that negatively impacts our internal microflora. Most people have had multiple rounds of antibiotics in their lives, often even in childhood. This can set us up for a host of different problems (pun intended ;). This is why probiotics can be a smart tool for repairing our immune system. For example, someone who gets recurrent UTIs, it’s often due to an underlying imbalance of healthy and harmful or overgrown bacteria making the urethral tract an environment more suited to the wrong kind of microbes. Another example is recurrent sinus infections – their sinuses are growing harmful bacteria because the natural defense system was compromised.
Probiotics can help constipation and diarrhea
If healthy elimination has been elusive for you, try a probiotic. Again, taking a daily probiotic, and adjusting the dose as needed, and adjusting the strain combination, can work wonders for irregular bowel movements. Frequent loose stools are often a different imbalance than slow, hard, or sluggish stools, and therefore can require different strains of bacteria and/or beneficial natural yeasts. I work with my patients to determine what type they need if any, and to find the right quantity.
Probiotics Benefit Mood and Mental Health
Have you heard that the gut is your second brain? Did you know it produces a significant amount of neurotransmitters? Those are the chemical messengers such as dopamine that affect mood and mental health. So many cases of mental health challenges including anxiety and depression are linked to a gut imbalance. I always start with the gut when working with patients as a Chinese Medicine practitioner, I see the gut as the central tube that goes from mouth to anus, and that must be working properly for everything else to work right. It can’t be ignored even in cases of depression and anxiety, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or mood irregularities and changes.
Probiotics support Whole Body Health
What about foods that support a healthy internal ecosystem?
I often hear people say “Well I eat yogurt”. And here’s what I say to that:
“From the store or homemade? Store bought yogurt has been pasturized, and sits in a package for a while, and you don’t really know what you are getting when you open it at home. Plus most yogurts are full of sugar, or come from commercially raised animals that are not in a humane environment. There are definitely options for healthy probiotic foods though! I recommend homemade 24 hour yogurt. This entails starting with high quality milk, whether from grass fed/pastured cows, raw milk from a trusted source, or organic and humanely raised, or choosing an additive free coconut milk. Then getting a quality culture starter suited to the milk you choose, and then allowing it to ferment accordingly, for 24 hours. Also making your own or buying quality lacto-fermented vegetables such as a sauerkraut.
I recommend the foods above especially to support an already healthy microbiome or someone who is well on the path of recovering gut health. But probiotic supplements can be the tool that helps you overcome serious health issues.
Finding the Right Probiotics
For quality probiotics from my trusted sources, I do have an online store here. When we work together I am able to prescribe a variety of beneficial bacteria that are right for you. Here’s to your health!
“For Who?” “When?”
These questions are the key according to Chinese Medicine Nutrition Therapy. No one diet fits an entire population. The one way of eating is individual to a person, living in a specific climate, at a certain age, during a given season.
In popular media, gurus will tout one diet over another – eat more of this, eat less of this, drink more water, eat less sugar, more fat, less fat, etc.
Ok, some of the things we hear are useful. Sugar, in its refined form, and added to pretty much everything, is not a natural way to healthy eating. Too much sugar is pretty much one thing I think everyone can agree is a recipe for health problems.
But maybe you’ve heard of keto, paleo, vegan, raw, juicing, etc. In my experience, and backed by the wisdom of the ages, Chinese Medicine has evolved and spanned and refined what works and what doesn’t on the individual level. What one eats depends on one’s constitution and health status.
Five Tips for Health Eating According to Chinese Medicine
Here are my 5 tips as a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, for a healthy way of eating:
- Eat According to Season
- Eat According to your Chinese Medicine Pattern
- Don’t eat until full. Eat until 3/4 full.
- Don’t eat close to bedtime
- Eat in a relaxed manner, don’t rush or multi-task during mealtimes.
Eating According to Season
One of the foundational concepts in Chinese Medicine is that people are a part of nature. The environmental climate directly impacts us, and if we’re eating in a way that is out of sync, then we’ll be affected. For example, in summer, someone who overheats easily would be encouraged to eat watermelon to help cool. Yet the same food in winter would not be appropriate. Light fresh salads are best in spring and summer because spring in the time when new plants sprout and grow, and in summer greenery flourishes. This aids our upward and outward Liver-Wood energy that is active in the spring and feeds the Fire element of summer. Yet in winter, salads should be consumed more sparingly if at all, because winter is a time of storage.
Eat According to your Chinese Medicine Pattern
This one is really important, and the best example is someone who is full of mucus and congestion is encouraged to stay away from mucus-producing foods such as all dairy, refined sugar, and wheat or doughy foods. Also, someone who is dry overall would be encouraged to eat juice moistening foods such as sweet potatoes, fats, and eggs.
Eat until 75-80% Full
Overeating taxes the digestive system which is often weak in many people. Leaving room is a key to longevity according to many studies.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
If we go to bed right after eating a full meal, our energy must go to digesting that food instead of going dormant into our healing state as it should for sleep. This can create excessive dreaming, groggy feeling in the morning, and overall sluggishness and lack of concentration the next day. I tell my patients to allow 3 hours between the last meal and bedtime. I also recommend fasting for around 12 hours every night to allow the digestive system time to repair and rest.
Relax during meals
It’s important although admittedly not easy, to just focus on eating during mealtimes. It’s so tempting to read something on our phones, watch TV, be cooking or cleaning while eating. But your Gastro-Intestinal system will thank you if you just sit, and chew, and perhaps talk lightly with friends or family. Mindful eating is becoming a lost art, and I encourage you to try it if you tend to multi-task at mealtime!
Perhaps you’ve heard it before – but your diet consists of everything you consume through all of your senses, especially what you allow into your brain and not just what you put in your mouth!
Here’s a recap and a reset — look for that one small change that will help you break out of an old habit that no longer serves the best version of you!
What Are You Consuming?
Eyes: What are you reading or looking at? Can you challenge yourself not to look at billboards, or to get rid of that ugly nicknack that’s been grating on you?
Mouth: What are you feeding your body? Yes, when we eat we are feeding our cells, nervous and cardiovascular systems, internal organs, bones, glands, and connective tissues – remember that next time you get the urge to grab that not processed or sugary snack!
Ears: What are you listening to and watching? Listening to the news or watching violence are things that our mind-body has to process, like we have to process a greasy or preservative-laden meal. So remember that too!
Nose: What home and personal care products are scented or have added chemicals that get into your lungs and bloodstream? Any synthetic scents are part of your toxic load, and I advocate to minimize chemicals in your home and on your skin and hair especially if you struggle with any health issue. Essential Oils are from plants and are a great way to uplift your mood, relax, or energize. Have a couple that really speak to you on your bathroom counter or nightstand, and take a whiff when you are getting ready for your day or settling in for bed at night!
Skin/Touch – What sensations do you enjoy feeling? A warm bath, a soft pet, the sun on your back, playing an instrument? How can you invite more pleasurable joyfilled feels into your daily life?
Enjoy your senses by thoughtfully curating positive choices for what you read, listen to, smell, and feel! Be conscious of the toxins you let into your sensory fields, and your body and mind will thank you!
Poop like a champ! Eliminating waste on a daily basis is not a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s a top-down job!
What is IBS?
While it’s beyond the scope of this short blog, Irritable Bowel Syndrome in a nutshell manifests as diarrhea, or constipation, or both alternating, often with pain and unpredictability/dysregulation of elimination.
How Often is Normal?
We are designed to poop every single day. In fact, passing formed stools 1-3 times a day is normal. Less than that and your intestines are sluggish. More than that and you’re in the diarrhea zone. Loose indicates an imbalance.
Sometimes, every other day is within normal limits, as long as it’s complete and you feel good.
Digestion Top to bottom
There are myriad reasons why elimination becomes compromised, and it’s not always insufficient fiber or water intake. I use individualized observations and findings to determine what’s backing you up, and how to open the pipes.
In Chinese medicine, the digestive system is seen as one tube from mouth to anus, and the overall directionality is downward. So we look at symptoms in terms of going down too fast, too slow, or coming up. Reflux, nausea, vomiting are all considered counterflow, and can accompany constipation or even diarrhea. We also regard the digestive system as the center around which all other bodily functions operate. We need to have this tube open and regulated to relieve other problems in the body as well. It’s often the first stop on the healing train – fix digestion, then see what is left to resolve after.
One Patient’s Story
Ebony, 39, had been very constipated her whole entire life. Her mom recalls giving her suppositories as a child. Fast forward, and add on endometriosis, chronic pain, reflux, and nausea. Constipation alternating with explosive diarrhea where she can’t stay away from a toilet was a daily interference with her life. Then she came to me to help to get some relief from all these issues. And the first thing that resolved was the perpetual IBS constipation alternating with diarrhea, along with less frequent and less intense reflux. Within a few weeks, she reduced the reflux medication by half, and the explose bouts of IBS were gone. Instead, she’s been having daily formed, complete BMs. The regulation of her digestion system has been such a big relief!