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Why Cupping Works - by Dr. Rob

IMG_2703Recently with the Olympics cupping has been in the spot light. Many patients have been asking about this type of therapy so we wanted to provide a little information as to what this therapy can be used for. Cupping has been around for thousands of years. Some say it was developed by the Chinese while others claim it dates back to 1500 BC and was used by the ancient Egyptians. It was initially used for the treatment of boils and sucking out toxins of bites and skin lesions but now is used for many more conditions. The suction created by cupping pulls stationary fluids in our bodies to the surface. This removes anything toxic or pathogenic and promotes fresh, oxygenated, nutrient rich blood and lymph flow to allow for:

  • Deep tissue work without discomfort
  • Relief of inflammation
  • Loosened adhesions
  • Stretching muscles and connective tissue
  • Breaking up and expelling congestion
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Sedating the nervous system

With these benefits cupping achieves excellent results for a broad range of disorders including:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tissue and joint inflammation
  • Sluggish colon
  • Sinus congestion
  • Stagnant lymph, edema and poor circulation
  • Insomnia and general anxiety
  • Lung inflammation
  • Cellulite
  • Sluggish devitalized skin
  • Toxicity

A cup is placed on the area of the body we will be working and then a vacuum will be created between the cup and the skin. The suction will pull the tissue into the cup and pull blood and lymph circulation to the surface and systemically throughout the body. It will relax the muscles and allow toxins to be pulled out of the deeper tissues. Cupping will leave marks, or skin discolorations, called petechia. It is important to note that this is the therapeutically desired effect. These marks do not hurt and are not bruises. These marks indicate that toxins or excess fluids in our system have been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface. This allows fresh oxygenated blood to nourish and heal the underlying areas. The color and pattern of the marks depends on the overall health of the underlying tissue. If there is no stagnation present, the color will be only a light pink mark which disappears in a few minutes to a couple of hours. In areas with injury or disease, the color will vary from bright red to speckled or even purple. Marks can last anywhere from three days to a week, depending on your water intake and activity level. Sites where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple cupping treatments to remove all stagnation. You will find in follow up treatments the marks will be visibly lighter and lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body. If you are interested in trying cupping for yourself, please contact our office to schedule an appointment scheduled with one of our massage therapists. – Dr. Rob