An alternative method to massage that uses suction as a way to heal and relax muscle pain.
Cupping is gaining much more attention due to it being a treatment of choice for athletes, especially olympic athletes. Cupping is a form of therapy first established within traditional chinese medicine. Along with acupuncture, Qi gong, and herbal therapy, cupping was used to treat a variety of health conditions. The modern use of cupping focuses on it's effectiveness for treating musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and hip pain.
The benefits of cupping are very similar to massage and myofascial release. However, instead of putting pressure into the muscle, a suction force pulls blood and fluid from the muscles. When blood and fluid are pulled from the muscles, it moves to the surface of the skin, where the lymphatic system does it's work. It's thought that waste products of metabolism are filtered from the blood when exposed to the lymphatic system. This might also help rejuvenate hyaluronic acid (lubricant in joints, muscles, and fascia) which can relieve pain and improve movement. I sometimes describe this process like getting an oil change for the muscles and connective tissues.
Cupping therapy has traditionally been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, anxiety, skin conditions, fertility and more. However, more commonly, cupping is being used to treat muscular and joint pains. For example, strained muscles, sprained joints, trigger points, and general muscle aches and fatigue.
The suction that pulls blood from muscles and other tissues also breaks capillaries within the skin. This process leaves an initial red circle on the skin which can turn to a bruise. The bruise can last anywhere between a couple of days or weeks. The severity of the bruise and how long it will last depends on the intensity of the cupping session, how long the cup was left on, and the sensitivity of the person's skin.
There are no major risks associated with cupping. The more severe risks of cupping can include a burn or skin infection, however, these are rare and associated with the practitioner not using proper sterilization techniques.
Cupping can be as quick as 5 minutes or sometimes can last 10 or 15 minutes. The time depends on personal preference and tolerance.
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Releases joint restrictions allowing for improved movements of the spine with less pain.
Gently creates more space within the spine taking pressure off disc bulges and pinched nerves.
Like a massage, but more specific to help with muscle pain/tension and fascia restrictions.
Develop resiliency by using the best exercises to get stronger and improve balance & agility.
Facilitates relaxation throughout the body, can reduce pain, and promote faster healing.