What Is Cupping ?
Cupping has been one of my favorite healing modalities since the beginning of my training as an acupuncturist, and I use it on most of my clients as a part of their treatment. It is really crazy to see cupping get so much attention (good and bad) and airtime all of a sudden due to the Olympic athletes having cupping bruises on their bodies because up until now cupping never got mainstream attention for its effectiveness.
I am so pleased to finally see athletes (and hopefully everyone else) use cupping for its powerful benefits. So what is cupping anyways? Cupping is a form of muscle release and energy movement therapy where a cup is suctioned onto the body in different ways.
Some therapists use a flame and glass cups (which is perfectly safe and not hot if done by a true professional), some use silicone cups and press them onto the body, and some use a self-vacuuming cup and pump the air out to create suction. There are many different styles of cupping: running cupping, stationary cupping, flash cupping, etc.
Typically, the most traditional style of cupping is stationary cupping where a cup is placed on one specific part of the body and left there for a certain amount of time. Points are chosen based on areas of pain or injury, tight muscle groups, or based around key acupuncture points that need attention. Running cupping is my personal favorite and the one I use in my office.
This involves putting oil on an area of the body (typically the back and the neck), followed by placing a cup on the specific muscle groups, and moving it up and down the body. This is a more intense version of cupping; it feels similar to a deep tissue massage, but it also brings a great deal of relief and deep relaxation to the client. Flash cupping is when a cup is placed on and off one spot of the body in rapid succession to intensify the cupping impact on a certain spot.
What Benefits Come From Being Cupped?
There are a lot of benefits from cupping, which is why clients keep coming back for more after their first session. First, cupping releases muscle fascia and body pain wherever it is placed, which means muscles are looser and more relaxed, which increases range of motion in that area of the body. This in turn helps to ease pain in that area of the body. Second, cupping detoxifies the body. It dredges toxins to the surface and helps the body remove them. Third, it removes stress off the body and calms the nervous system.
Cupping creates a deep state of relaxation and looseness, which benefits people with an over active mind, anxiety, depression, PTSD, every day stress and sleep issues. And last, it moves stuck energy. For those of you receiving cupping along with acupuncture (like in my practice), cupping is great to move stuck energy and to rebalance the body, which helps to heal a variety of ailments plaguing the body.
Does Cupping Hurt?
Cupping is uncomfortable in the same way a deep tissue massage is uncomfortable, which varies from person to person, but overall it does not hurt. Usually I tell my clients to let me know when it’s too much so that I can adjust the suction to make sure it’s tolerable.
What Is The Deal With The Bruises?
Bruising happens with the first 3-4 treatments of cupping. But afterwards, the body gets used to it and the bruising no longer happens. This bruising is caused by toxins being brought to the surface and the muscle fascia being released. These bruises typically do not hurt to the touch because they are superficial bruises, not ones you get when something physically traumatic happens to the body. Bruises last any where from 3-5 days but go away faster each time you receive cupping.
Does Cupping Really Work?
For most people who has tried it, cupping works great. I personally love being cupped – I feel looser, calmer, lighter and more balanced. If you have any curiosities about cupping, the best thing to do is try it first hand and you will know how great and effective it really is.
For information about cupping or if you have more questions, please feel free to contact me or sign up for a free 30 minute consultation by pressing on the “Schedule Now” button at the top.