Cupping Therapy

What can I Expect During Cupping Therapy Treatment

You have probably been hearing about and seeing several famous athletes and celebrities with the notorious marks from cupping therapy, and perhaps wondered what it is and why it is sought out by so many?  Cupping therapy can be used to treat many muscle related injuries but above all, cupping therapy relieves pain and speeds healing of injuries.  By creating negative pressure, cupping improves circulation, relieves tired and tight muscles {especially neck, shoulder and back pain}, moves stagnated energy and increases overall vitality. Pain and injury not only slow down your daily routine and ability to function, they also have a negative impact on your energy, your attitude and your stamina–and who has time for that? A simple cupping treatment can put you right back in the game with less pain, more ease and increased vitality.

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What can I Expect During Cupping Therapy Treatment?

The therapist will take a number of glass cups to apply to your body. For each cup used, a vacuum is created using a flame. The cup is then applied to the skin. In order to allow easy movement of the glass, oil is applied. The suction anchors the cup to the body and the area of skin covered is drawn up a few millimeters into the cup. The cups are then left on the body while the area beneath is being treated and the energy is moved. Generally, the cups are left in place for approximately 3 to 5 minutes as the skin begins to redden due to the congestion of blood flow.

Cupping is comfortable and relaxing for some, while others may find it uncomfortable or even painful. The sensation is often characterized as deep warmth and tingling long after the treatment has ended. Cupping draws the inflammation out of the problem area yet does not add to it and is excellent when used as a contrast therapy with oils or liniments. The skin will redden with strong cupping, indication that circulation has been brought to the surface. The increased local blood supply to the area will nourish the muscles and skin, and allow the toxins to be carried away.

Cupping Therapy, an Ancient Technique

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. The cups can be made of a variety of materials, including:

  • Glass
  • Bamboo
  • Earthenware

The suction of the cups mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments.

Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

How does Cupping Therapy work?

There are various types of cupping therapy, including:

  • Dry cupping (suction only)
  • Wet cupping (combination of suction and controlled medicinal bleeding)

During both types of cupping, a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper is placed in a cup and set on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed upside down on the patient's skin.  As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the skin to rise and redden as blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for five to 10 minutes.  A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes practitioners use medical-grade silicone cups. These are pliable enough to be moved from place to place on the skin and produce a massage-like effect.

How does Cupping Therapy help you?

Cupping is believed to stimulate the flow of blood and lymph to the affected area. Massage cupping is often used on broad areas on the back to break up stagnated waste and stubborn adhesions. Cupping is not only beneficial for muscular pain; it can also be used for the following conditions: general muscular tension, common colds and flu, sporting injuries and menstrual pain. These are just a few conditions that cupping can prove to be extremely beneficial. Consult your therapist for further information.  A 2012 study published in the journal PLoS ONE concluded that cupping therapy may be effective when combined with other treatments like acupuncture or medications in treating various diseases and conditions.

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