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What is cupping?

With the Olympics recently completed, you may have noticed some of the athletes with round marks on their skin that looked like bruises and wondered what those were.  And not just Olympic athletes, many different types of athletes are using the therapy known as cupping.

Cupping is an ancient form of therapy that has Greek, Egyption and Chinese roots and is fast becoming a rising health trend.  The Greek philosopher Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine” first recommended cupping in his guide to clinical treatment.

Various sizes of cups are placed on the skin over problem areas and a small amount of vacuum is applied.  As a result of the vacuum, tissue is drawn up into the cup creating an area where blood is drawn in.

The effect of the cupping speeds up recovery from muscle strains, reduces inflammation, improves circulation and reduces stress.  The cups can be fixed or moved around.  Think of it as internal massage therapy.  Instead of outside pressure being applied to tissues, cupping lifts the skin and fascia causing blood to be drawn in.  This will cause tension and toxins from the injured muscle to be released.

Healthy fascia and clean blood leads to improved flexibility and enhanced muscle recovery.  It helps the lymphatic system by improving efficiency at filtering toxins.  

The procedure is much faster than massage – typical treatment time is about 15 minutes.  It will usually leave round marks on the skin for a few days.  Those are the marks you have been seeing.  The therapy isn’t painful, moving the cups around feels like massage.  Many times it is done in conjunction with acupuncture therapy.

We’re pleased to be able to now offer cupping therapy here at Ideal Health.  If you’re interested in finding more about this proven form of ancient therapy please call our office.  We’re here to answer any questions, or to schedule an initial visit to experience it for yourself.