Cupping is part of a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) procedure which aids in muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to the area treated.
While there are many types of cupping, with various names, the type we utilize at Muscle Therapy & Acupuncture Center is what would be considered dry cupping or static cupping.
Glass or Plastic cups are placed on the body and the air is extracted from the cup creating a vacuum on the skin and a suction effect at the surface.
Blood flow is increased at the site, and muscle tension decreases causing an overall relaxation response. Cups are left in place approximately 10 minutes, and sometimes can create a pink to red effect on the surface of the skin which goes away in several days. As the color decreases, the body floods the area with anti-inflammatory chemicals which aid in removing congestion and lactic acid. Cupping is especially effective for musculoskeletal complaints, muscle relaxation and sports injuries.
Athletes such as Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, have utilized cupping as a regular part of their training program for muscle recovery.
Cupping is best coupled with other therapies such as acupuncture or massage, for overall benefit.
People who are pregnant, children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions (such as cancer, organ failure, hemophilia, edema, blood disorders, and some types of heart disease) are among those who shouldn’t have cupping. People taking blood-thinning medication also shouldn’t try cupping.
Check with your therapist to see if you would benefit from this ancient Chinese form of treatment.