What is cupping or cupping therapy? Cupping therapy formally known as myofascial decompression (MFD) is an ancient eastern method of healing that has recently grown in popularity in the west due to its health benefits.
For cupping therapy, plastic or silicone suction cups are used to create negative pressure between the layers of tissues in an affected area on the body. A suction gun is used to extract the air out of the cup, creating this pressure. This draws blood that is rich in nutrients to the affected area and helps to encourage quicker healing.
Here at Comfort Health we find cupping therapy gives the best results when it is combined with massage and physio.
We usually start the treatment with massage to increase circulation and to help break down adhesions (knots), then add the cups. We use the cups in a variety of different ways depending on the body part and the treatment needed. One way we use the cups is to simply leave them on specific spots for the duration of the treatment. Another is to use the cups themselves to massage the treatment area by sliding them across the skin. Alternatively we can keep the cups placed on an area whilst mobilising the surrounding joint. When we take the cups off we would continue to massage to help flush out the toxins that build up in muscles.
Cupping can be especially good for people who work out a lot. There is some evidence to suggest the effects of cupping can last longer than massage alone.
– Increases circulation and oxygenation of the blood in an affected area
– Passively stretches myofascial tissue
– Increases range of motion of the affected area
– Increases collagen production and tissue repair
– Relieves muscle spasms
– Breaks up adhesions in tissue (similar to massage)
– Reduces inflammation
– Reduces stress levels
– Aids in the reduction of cellulite and tones skin
– Cleans out pores, removing toxins from the skin
– Detoxifies the lymphatic system
Cupping is safe for pretty much everybody!
However, there are a few exceptions where cupping would not be the best option for treatment, these are:
– Young children
– People with heart problems
– Currently taking blood thinning meds
– Open wounds
– History of vascular disease such as DVT
– Varicose veins
– Any bleeding
You should be aware that cupping therapy can potentially bruise or mark your skin. The marks can last anytime between a day and a week, however they are nothing to worry about and shouldn’t be painful.