Introduction To Cupping Therapy

Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin. 

The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. 

For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. 

This is similar to the practice of Tui Na, a traditional Chinese medicine massage technique that targets acupuncture points as well as painful body parts, and is well known to provide relief through pressure.

Benefits Of Cupping Therapy

Some of the many the benefits :

  • Stimulates whole-body relaxation response (parasympathetic response)
  • Stimulates oxygenation and detoxification of blood while promoting a feeling of lightness and tension relief
  • Detoxifies metabolic debris in muscle tissue, fascia, and skin
  • Increases range of motion, breaks up adhesions, and promotes healing in scar tissue and chronic injury sites
  • Increases lymphatic drainage and promotes circulation

Given these benefits, here are some of the conditions for which cupping can be really helpful:

  • Tight and stiff muscles
  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Piriformis syndrome and IT band pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Migraines
  • Respiratory conditions, including asthma and bronchitis
  • Anxiety, depression, and stress
  • High blood pressure (by calming the nervous system)
  • Cellulite

Reasons Why Athletes Do Cupping

  • Improve blood flow
  • Improve immunity by increasing lymphatic output
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Calm the nervous system
  • Stretch muscles and connective tissue
  • Loosen restrictions and adhesions in the tissue
  • Provide relaxation
  • Optimize athletic performance
  • Improve overall wellbeing