Cupping is an ancient technique and there is a reason to believe the practice dates from as early as 3000 BC.
It has been shown to increase athletic performance and can be helpful for many conditions including:
- Acute and chronic pain, fibromyalgia
- Headaches, migraines
- Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
- Skin issues such as acne, eczema, skin marks (angiomas, hemangiomas), cellulite
- Nasal and chest congestion, asthma
- Digestive disorders
- Anxiety, depression
Suction cups are applied to the skin which draws up the underlying tissues, blood and lymphatic fluid. It has been found to affect the body up to 4 inches into the tissues.
The cups may remain stationary or can be moved around, the suction can be strong to affect deeper tissues or milder to bring a more superficial effect.
Following cupping it is usual to have circular bruise marks. These will disappear over the next few days or so.
How does Cupping work?
Cupping has a significant effect on the circulatory system, improving circulation within the soft tissues and stimulating the flow of lymphatic fluid. This facilitates the removal of toxins, the supply of fresh nutrients, draws out inflammation and relieves pain.
The physical action of stretching and pulling soft tissues away from underlying structures will relax muscle and tendons, allowing increased flexibility, improved range of motion, and assist with the breakdown of scar tissue and adhesions.
Most people find cupping to be extremely relaxing and beneficial for stress related conditions.
It can also improve digestive function by acting on the nervous system and has been shown to the smooth the appearance of cellulite.
Cupping is gaining popularity as its effectiveness becomes more widely known, and it is now not uncommon to see celebrities and top athletes with cup marks.
Our Licensed Acupuncturist, Emily Dunn, can also perform wet cupping, which is a type of bloodletting.
A dry cup is used for 3-5 minutes, following which multiple shallow pin pricks are made in the skin allowing the blood to be released. A second cup is then placed over the same area to draw out the blood.
It can be described as removing a plug from a dam of congested energy, allowing that congestion to be relieved.
Wet cupping is believed to be a more powerful technique than dry cupping and will not be suitable for all.
In the case of wet cupping the marks may be tender for a few days, and they may take up to 2 weeks to disappear.