You might have noticed circular marks on the shoulders, backs or arms of athletes during the latest Olympics or team sport competition. Those circular marks come from cupping therapy. Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist places cupping glasses on the skin to create a local suction. While it's something you've mostly seen athletes doing before and during a competition, cupping therapy is becoming more popular among the general public due to its effectiveness in relieving pain.

What is Cupping?

Cupping therapy can be traced back as early as 1069 BCE when a Greek physician named Hippocrates discovered that cupping helped reduce fevers in patients with pneumonia. Primarily, cupping works by creating a vacuum on the skin which helps remove blood from areas near broken capillaries or strained muscles. The vacuum created by cupping allows increased blood circulation to help ease conditions such as arthritis, respiratory illness, bronchitis and even asthma. In addition to helping treat these internal issues, cupping also assists in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

What Ailments Does Cupping Help?
When cupping is applied to the back, it specifically helps relieve restricted fascial movement that can cause local pain or discomfort. Cupping has been proven effective in the treatment of arthritis, stiff necks and joint pain. Cupping is claimed to help with many other conditions, including congestion, respiratory illness, asthma, pain, fatigue and even cellulite.

How is Cupping Done?

Cupping treatment is done using glass, plastic or bamboo cups. The cups are warmed and then placed on the skin. A vacuum is created inside the cup by either heating the air inside the cup or sucking out all of the air with a pump. The cupping therapist will then move the cups around to different areas on the body. Once cupping marks appear on the skin, they generally last 5-7 days as those areas continue to heal over time. The cupping marks should fade after a few days after the cupping treatments are complete.

Cupping therapy is a great treatment for various medical conditions and has been used effectively for centuries. If you're looking for an alternative way to ease muscle pain or respiratory illness, cupping therapy might be the right choice for you. Call us today to see if cupping therapy is a viable treatment option for you.