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Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is an ancient practice that has gained momentum over the last 20 years as people rediscover this little-known yet highly effective treatment. In recent years, athletes like Michael Phelps and many others have utilized this therapy for various health and healing needs. Today, our San Diego physical therapists want to talk about cupping, its use, and why you may want to consider this treatment.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy is a process where a therapist places special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. The increased suction encourages blood flow to the area, which can help reduce pain and promote healing by drawing out toxins and bringing fresh oxygen to the tissues.

Ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures used cupping. One of the oldest medical textbooks globally, the Ebers Papyrus, describes cupping therapy in 1550 B.C. Cupping has been part of Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

With a trained professional, cupping can do wonders to help you improve your range of motion, relieve chronic tightness, and help alleviate neck, shoulder, and back pain. Additionally, cupping may help:

  • Release scar tissue and fascial adhesions
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve blood and lymph circulation
  • Decrease toxins

Cupping Methods – Sliding, Fixed and Coupled with Movement

Sliding method with cupping involves sliding the cups along the line of the muscle. This is a good approach for anyone that has more dispursed pain or for those that do not tolerate doing active movement with the cups on.

The fixed method is where the cups are placed on the skin and left there for 5-10 minutes for a more targeted approach. We often use this for recovery or more acute pain. This is more relaxing and the most gentle of the three methods.

Cupping coupled with movement Is the most effective for improving range of motion. We find that this method is very successful with our tight hamstrings, stiff necks and low back patients. This method allows the fascia and muscles to move freely in functional movement patterns.

Onyx P.T. and Wellness uses one or several of the three methods when cupping as necessary per treatment requirements. All cupping sessions are followed with some muscle activation and neuromuscular re-education to prolong the benefits of the therapy.

Does a cupping treatment take long?

Cupping is typically measured in minutes, not hours. Depending on the client’s needs, 3-5 cups are placed on your skin for 5-10 minutes. So, the treatment itself is quick. Preparations surrounding the treatment will add additional time that can vary by practitioner.

Is Cupping Safe?

According to WebMD, cupping is relatively safe, provided you go to trained medical professionals for the therapy. All cupping should be performed in a professional setting, and all cupping equipment must be sterilized between uses.

Cupping therapy is a great way to treat a variety of ailments. It is essential to consult with a certified professional to ensure cupping is suitable for you. If you are curious about cupping therapy in San Diego and want to learn more, call us or schedule an appointment today.