Known as an ancient, traditional Chinese medicine, cupping has been around for thousands of years and used by people all over the world to promote improved wellness. It’s a form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups onto the skin for a few minutes to create suction.
At Ashbrooke Therapies we’re happy to offer this modality as a treatment to patients that works well in addition to Physiotherapy or on its own.
How Does Cupping Work?
Just to dispel a myth, many say that cupping is painful, but this depends a lot on the individual and on the level of inflammation of the person, and will also depend on the technique that is used.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. It is effective in treating deep tissue scarring, muscular knots and dispelling tension.
Contrary to the commonly-held impression, the suction of the cups does not hurt. In fact, most people find the sensation very pleasant, a sort of a release. Our patients often see cupping as a relaxing session and leave feeling much better than when they arrived.
The cups can remain in position for several minutes, or the therapist can glide them over the skin like the movements of a massage. This negative pressure is the opposite to a deep tissue massage – a pulling versus a pushing effect.
The suction increases blood flow to the area, which, in turn, reduces muscle tension and inflammation, and promotes healing.. a great addition in treating injuries. Recent studies have shown cupping’s effectiveness in reducing pain intensity and providing positive short-term benefits.
After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern, but the marks will usually disappear in a weeks time.
Cupping can be done as often as two times per week. Some patients come in for weekly cupping sessions for stress and tension, while others come as needed for lung or skin issues.
Cupping can be used in conjunction with remedial massage and dry needling to assist in pain conditions, stress, tension and other conditions mentioned above.
Cupping also promotes relaxation of the muscles and skin, improves blood circulation, begins the healing and regeneration process, warms the skin and reduces inflammation. Cupping may leave bruises or marks, though they generally resolve in less than a week’s time.