WHAT IS CUPPING THERAPY?
Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction facilitates healing by increasing blood flow and decreases stagnation in the muscles and fascia. Cupping therapy only increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. The more stagnation present, the more red the areas will get. This can relieve muscle tension, which can be the root cause of many ailments.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CUPPING THERAPY?
Cupping was originally performed using animal horns. Later the “cups” were made from bamboo and then ceramic. The suction was primarily created through the use of heat. The cups were originally heated with fire and then applied to the skin. As they cooled, the cups drew the skin inside. There are two main categories of cupping performed today:
- Dry cupping, which is a suction-only method
- Wet cupping, which may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding
We only offer dry cupping at this time. Our office uses sterilized cups that are suctioned onto the skin. No fire and heat is used.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A CUPPING TREATMENT?
During a cupping treatment, a cup is placed on the skin and then suctioned onto the skin. When the cup is pumped, air is drawn out which creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. Your skin may turn red as the blood vessels respond to the change in pressure. With dry cupping, the cup is set in place for a set time, usually between 5 and 10 minutes. Sometimes the therapist will gently glide the cup around to treat more of a service area. After the cups are removed, the practitioner will inspect the areas treated. Bruising or other marks usually go away within 5 days of the session.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN CUPPING THERAPY TREAT?
Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains. Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure. Research has found that cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:
- Muscle Strain / Sprain
- Disc Herniation
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS?
There aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. The side effects you may experience will typically occur during your treatment. After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and bruised in a circular pattern. Any bruising will be sore the following days as the tissues heals. However, this is all part of the therapeutic process. The more often this therapy is done, the less likely bruising will happen as the area will not have a high amount of stagnation anymore.