Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist uses a plastic, glass or silicone cup on the skin and applies suction. The suction creates a decompression force directly under the dome of the cup. The tissue under the cup is raised or sucked partially in which may cause a tight or squeezing feeling in the skin. Cups may be left static or glided across skin to achieve desired effect. Cupping is used to increase circulation, decrease pain and decrease muscular tension in an area. It is common to notice red circles or small bruising following cupping as your blood vessels will respond to the change in pressure. Cupping therapy is often used in conjunction with soft tissue massage, stretching and passive range of motion during a therapy session.
What can be treated with Cupping?
Cupping is useful in treating a variety of musculoskeletal issues including back, shoulder, knee, hip and neck pain. Cupping can also be used to decrease swelling by creating decompression and gliding over the skin. Use of cups can also decrease migraines and pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Is the procedure painful? Upon application you might feel a slight pinching or pressure underneath dome of the cup. Pain will normally decrease moments after cup is placed as muscles relax. It is normal to have non- painful raised red circles on surface of skin that may last a few days to a week.
How long does the procedure take to work?
You should feel a decrease in muscle tension almost immediately following cupping therapy. However, it may take several sessions to really notice decrease in overall pain of an area. Cupping therapy should be performed 1-2 times per week, patient specific, as redness and bruising should have time to heal between cupping applications.