Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine where special cups are placed on your skin to create a suction. It helps with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being.
This treatment uses cups to pull the skin into a suction that decompresses muscles and connective tissue. It also promotes blood flow to the compromised area, enhancing circulation and helping to increase the body's own healing process.
The 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.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that it is the stagnation of qi and blood that causes pain and disease. Cupping invigorates local circulation of qi and blood in the area being treated, resolving swelling, pain, and tension. By drawing impurities to the surface, it removes toxins. Cupping loosens connective tissue or fascia, stimulates blood flow to the surface, stimulates tissue relaxation and better cell-to-cell communication.
The research of U.S. physiologist and acupuncturist Helene Langevin has documented cell-level changes using an ultrasound camera. She has demonstrated that techniques like cupping can relax tissue and reduce markers of inflammation. Inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers) are reduced, and cytokines that promote healing and relaxation are increased.
There are different ways to perform cupping. The steps vary slightly depending on the chosen method.
Our process on dry cupping will start by a technician wiping the area to be treated to make sure it's clean before placing the message gel. Next, message gel is rubbed on the area so that the cupping can suction and stay in place. Next step would be to start placing cups on the area/s most needed. Cups are placed according to your wants and needs. Once placed on the skin, the vacuum force pulls the skin up into the cup. After all the cups are placed, they are left for 15 mins then removed, and the area is cleaned.
The suction force from cupping breaks open tiny blood vessels under the skin. You will have round bruise-like marks that fade in about a week or two.
In a recent press release, the NIH referred to a 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of cupping that concluded, “cupping could be effective in treating the pain and disability associated with chronic neck pain and chronic low-back pain in the short term.” In a study of 70 patients suffering from tension and migraine headaches, the application of cupping improved 95 percent of the cases reducing the severity of the headaches by an average of 66 percent, and the patients experienced the equivalent of 12.6 fewer days of headache per month. These results indicated that cupping is a very safe and powerful non-pharmacological approach.
TCM claims that Cupping therapy loosen adhesions and revitalize connective tissue, increase blood flow to skin and muscles, stimulates the peripheral nervous system, reduces pain, controls high blood pressure and modulates the immune system.
According to its advocates, cupping is supposed to promote healing and has been used extensively for sore muscles. But that’s only the beginning. Cupping has also been used for:
And there are many others.
From a biological perspective, it’s not clear how the application of suction and drawing blood into an area under the skin would provide all these benefits. A recent review of the treatment describes cupping as a treatment that can strengthen the body’s resistance, restore balance between positive and negative forces, remove disease-causing factors, and promote blood circulation. But exactly how is unclear.