Cupping is a technique whereby cups are used to create a suction on the skin to help circulation and healing, and is similar to a deep tissue massage. Many cultures have practiced cupping as part of their folk medicine for thousands of years. Cupping is also one of the traditional chinese medicine techniques that may be used to help with healing. Cupping may be included in your Acupuncture session if indicated. You can discuss this with your licensed physician/acupuncturist.
What does cupping do?
Cupping increases circulation, relives muscle tension, detoxifies the body, and strengthens the immune system by drawing soft tissue into the cup using a suction effect. Cupping can be combined with massage or done on its own. Fire cupping involves using glass cups and a flame to remove the air out of the cups before placing it on the skin. Cups can also be made of out of silicone and other plastic materials and do not involve the use of fire to create a suction on the skin.
What are the contraindications and side effects of cupping?
The only side effect of cupping is that it can leave a bruise or create a purple/reddish mark on the skin because of the suction effect created. Cupping is contraindicated on broken skin and is generally done on areas, such as, the back, neck, shoulder, legs, and smooth areas of the body with ample soft tissue.
Cupping can be used for:
- Muscle tension
- Cough/colds/chest congestion and improving immune function
- Pain and pain syndromes
- Reducing cellulite and increasing circulation
- Facial rejuvenation in combination with facial rejuvenation acupuncture