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Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine that has been used for centuries. It is believed to have many health benefits, including improved circulation, decreased inflammation, and relief from pain. In this article, we will discuss the history of cupping therapy, the health benefits it offers, and how you can try it yourself!

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy is a type of alternative medicine that has been used for centuries. The practice involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. This suction is believed to help improve circulation, decrease inflammation, and relieve pain. Cupping therapy is often used as a form of massage, and it can be performed using either glass or plastic cups.

The History of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries. The first recorded use of cupping therapy dates back to 1550 BCE in Egypt. Cupping therapy was also popular among the Greeks and Romans. In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping therapy is used to balance yin and yang energy in the body. Cupping therapy was brought to Europe in the early 1800s, and it has been used in the United States since the early 1900s.

Though cupping therapy has evolved over the years the theory behind it remains the same: by creating suction on the skin, cupping therapy can improve circulation, decrease inflammation, and relieve pain.

Health Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is believed to offer a variety of health benefits. One of the most well-known benefits of cupping therapy is improved circulation. The suction created by the cups helps to draw blood to the surface of the skin, which in turn can help to improve circulation. Cupping therapy is also thought to be helpful in decreasing inflammation. The suction created by the cups can help to drain excess fluid from inflamed tissues, which can reduce swelling and pain. Cupping therapy is also used as a form of massage, and it is thought to be helpful in relieving muscle tension and pain.

Who Can Perform Cupping

Cupping therapy can only be performed by a trained professional. These professionals may include massage therapists, acupuncturists, or physiotherapists. Cupping therapy should not be performed on anyone with a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. Cupping therapy should also not be performed on pregnant women or young children.

What Are the Different Types of Cupping?

Cupping has been around for centuries and it has changed and evolved. New techniques of cupping have emerged. The different types of cupping include:

Wet Cupping:

Cupping combined with bloodletting. The cups are placed on the skin and left for a few minutes to draw blood to the surface. Then, the practitioner makes a small incision and uses a cup to remove the blood.

Dry Cupping:

The most common type of cupping. The cups are placed on the skin and left for a few minutes to draw blood to the surface.

Cupping Massage:

Cupping combined with massage. The cups are placed on the skin and then used to massage the muscles.

Fire Cupping:

A type of dry cupping that uses heat to create suction. A small amount of alcohol is placed in a cup and then lit on fire. The cup is then quickly placed on the skin to create suction.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping is combined with other forms of alternative medicine such as acupuncture or acupressure.

What are the Cups Made of?

Glass cups used in cupping

The cups used in cupping therapy are typically made of glass, plastic, or bamboo. The size of the cup depends on the area being treated. Cupping therapy can be performed with either single cups or multiple cups.

Does Cupping Hurt?

Cupping therapy is not typically painful. Some people may feel a slight sensation of pressure when the cups are first placed on the skin. Cupping therapy should not be performed on anyone with a history of blood clotting disorders or who is taking blood thinners. Cupping therapy should also not be performed over open wounds.

How Long do the Marks on the Body Last?

Marks on back from cupping therapy

The marks left on the skin from cupping therapy are not permanent and typically fade within a few days. The marks may appear painful, but they are not. The marks are caused by the suction of the cups and are not bruises.

What are the Side Effects of Cupping?

Cupping is safe and effective, however, some people may experience side effects. These side effects may include:

  •  Skin irritation
  •  Pain
  •  Bruising
  • Cupping marks

 

Most people who experience side effects report them as mild and temporary.

Does Cupping Remove Toxins?

Cupping removes toxins in the body by drawing them to the surface of the skin. The suction from the cups helps to loosen and break up congestion and blockages in the muscles and tissues. Cupping also helps to improve circulation by bringing blood flow to the areas being treated. Cupping therapy is an effective way to detoxify the body and promote overall health and wellness.

 

Conditions Cupping Treats

Conditions treated by cupping

Cupping therapy has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. Cupping has been shown to be effective in treating:

  •  headaches
  •  neck pain
  •  back pain
  •  fatigue
  •  anxiety
  •  muscle soreness
  •  menstrual cramps

 

Cupping Can Help with Skincare

 

Cupping therapy can also be used to improve the appearance of the skin. Cupping helps to increase blood flow to the skin and promote collagen production. Cupping can be used to treat:

 

  •  wrinkles
  •  fine lines
  •  acne
  •  cellulite

 

How to Try Cupping Therapy

 

Cupping therapy is offered at many spas and wellness centres. The best place to receive cupping therapy is at a physiotherapy clinic. Cupping therapy is often combined with other forms of physiotherapy to provide the best possible care for the individual.

How Long is a Cupping Session?

 

A cupping session typically lasts for 20-30 minutes. Each session may be different as your therapist will determine the number of cups and the amount of time each cup is left in place based on your individual needs.

 

Does Cupping Relieve Pain?

Sign with a guy kicking pain away

 

Cupping has been shown to be an effective pain relief treatment. Cupping helps to relieve pain by:

 

  •  breaking up congestion and blockages in the muscles and tissues
  •  increasing blood flow to the area being treated
  •  decreasing inflammation

 

How to Prepare for a Cupping Treatment?

 

Before your cupping treatment, your therapist will likely ask you about your health history and the reason for seeking treatment. Cupping should not be performed on anyone with a history of blood clotting disorders or who is taking blood thinners. Cupping therapy should also not be performed over open wounds.

 

Your therapist will then clean the area to be treated with an antiseptic solution. Once the area is clean, your therapist will place the cups on your skin and wait for them to suction. You may feel a slight sensation of pressure when the cups are first placed on your skin.

 

Cupping therapy should not be painful. If you experience any pain during your cupping treatment, you should tell your therapist.

Cupping Therapy at Bergin Motion

Bergin Motion is a Physiotherapy Clinic in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. We have physiotherapists who are trained and certified to do cupping therapy.

Our clients have found relief from pain, reduced soreness and improved range of motion in the treated area.

Book an appointment to consult with one of our physiotherapists as to whether cupping therapy is right for you.

Additional Resources

Article from Web MD on cupping therapy, what it is and how it helps.

Article from Healthline on the many benefits of cupping therapy.

About the Author

Juliana Bergin PT is a certified physiotherapist and one of the owners of Bergin Motion. Bergin Motion is a family-run Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic located in Barrie’s Southend. Juliana specializes in orthopedic injuries. Juliana works with high-end athletes as well as weekend warriors. Juliana is part of a team at Bergin Motion in Barrie, Ontario that works with all kinds of conditions.

About Bergin Motion

Barrie Ontario Physiotherapy

Bergin Motion is a Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic. Bergin Motion offers physiotherapy in Barrie to clients with a wide range of conditions.

The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.

Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own homes if they cannot travel to the clinic.

Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.