What is Cupping Therapy?
A method of therapy where cups are placed along the body at various points and suction is applied so that the skin is raised slightly. This encourages blood flow and lymphatic response within the body, assisting with healing of soft tissue. When used with particular pressure points the results are magnified.
This type of therapy has been used in different cultures throughout time and currently. Current western medicine shows minimal benefit with cupping alone for healing of injuries, but when used as an adjunct with other methods it has shown great benefit.
How does cupping works
With the creation of suction, the cup is left for a period to allow the blood to rise to the surface (similar looking to a bruise), which then enhances deeper blood flow. Depending on the area affected and the amount of suction attended by the therapist, the cups can remain on from a few seconds to a few minutes. Another method used is a gliding effect with less suction. This is where suction is sustained while the cup is moved (“glided”) over a larger area.
What to expect when getting it done?
Unlike traditional methods where flame is used with glass cups to create suction, the more controlled
method of a suction pump is used with plastic cups to create the desired pressure. Depending on the amount of suction and area being treated, the sensation of the cupping can feel like a dull pinch. As the blood rushes to the surface there will be the effect of “bruising”, which may be tender the next day. It should also be noted that there may be circular markings (similar to a bruise) corresponding to the positioning of the cups for 1-10 days.