Updated: Jul 16, 2020
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping is one of many ancient healing techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 2,000 years. Other techniques included in TCM include Massage, Gua Sha, and Acupuncture. Cupping is unique for the signature dark circles left on the body after treatment. This is a normal reaction to the suction applied to the soft tissue of the body via glass or plastic cups. You can think of cupping as a reverse massage. Instead of pressing down onto the tissue from the outside in, cupping lifts and separates fascia and muscles from inside out. In Traditional Chinese Medicine removing stagnant or stuck energy, or Qi, improves the body’s ability to heal by improving the blood flow to certain areas. Qi is the vital life energy that flows from head to toe through 12 channels called meridians.
What is Cupping used for?
Cupping is used in many ways for a variety of health conditions. Cupping is mainly used for chronic neck and back pain, shoulder pain, inflammation, scar tissue, and musculoskeletal injuries but it can also be used for stress management, muscle and joint stiffness, the common cold, tension headaches, respiratory conditions, digestive issues, lowering blood pressure, and even cellulite. There are some studies that show cupping improves the Elastin and Collagen production in your skin and thus has anti-aging effects. Keep in mind that Cupping may not be suitable for all individuals and is not always recommended for pregnant women, individuals with blood disorders, open wounds, or certain skin conditions. Seek advice from a healthcare professional prior to receiving cupping treatment.
How does Cupping work?
There are different kinds of cupping depending on the area and the condition being treated. Static (or Dry) cupping is when the cups are in one place for the duration of the treatment, usually several minutes. This type of cupping gives those classic dark circles which usually last from up to a week. In the US, Wet (or Dynamic) Cupping is when oil or gel is applied to the area and the cups are guided along the body by the practitioner to facilitate blood flow and break up adhesions formed into injured muscles. Both types of cupping can be beneficial by removing toxins and improving optimal blood flow and energy in the body.
Research and Data
Although research is limited, there is growing evidence supporting the effectiveness of cupping for chronic pain suggesting that it may have equivalent results to other pain management techniques. If you are interested in learning more about research studies here are a few:
In summary, Cupping Therapy provides a safe and alternative treatment option to those suffering from pain conditions or a variety of other health issues. Our office proudly provides a variety of alternative therapies to manage pain, improve health, and promote wellness. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule your appointment today!