Cupping therapy is a form of treatment that is receiving a lot of attention today. This is due to many positive reviews from Olympic athletes, amateur athletes, and celebrities in recent years. But what exactly is “cupping therapy?” And does it really work?
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy is an ancient treatment approach that involves putting heated cups on the skin to create suction. This suction pulls the tissue up into the cup, which causes it to swell and increase blood flow to the area. Practitioners claim that cupping therapy helps to pull toxins and impurities from from body toward the surface where they can be removed. Today, cupping therapy is most widely practiced in China.
There are several types of cupping therapy, including dry cupping, wet cupping, and fire cupping. The cups used in treatment may also be made from different materials such as glass, silicone, bamboo, or earthenware.
What to Expect in a Cupping Therapy Session
Before you begin your cupping session, your therapist will speak with you in order to identify the issues you are experiencing. Next, the treatment area is thoroughly cleaned with warm water and an antibacterial soap to reduce the risk of infection. Depending on the cupping method being used, your therapist may apply an oil-based cream to the affected area. Then your therapist will put in flammable substance (such as herbs or alcohol) in a cup and ignite it. As the fire dies down, your therapist will put the cup upside down on your skin. As the cup cools down it creates a vacuum which pulls on the affected tissue. The cup is usually left in place for about 3 minutes. After the cups are removed, the treatment area is cleaned again.
What are the Benefits of Cupping Therapy?
In addition to eliminating toxins, practitioners of cupping therapy believe that increasing blood flow can help to bring nutrients to sore muscles and promote healing. Many athletes who have tried cupping therapy claim that the approach helps to relieve muscle tension. Just as a massage may help a person to relax, cupping therapy also promotes relaxation and may help to relieve stress. Although more research is needed on the mental health benefits of cupping therapy, many patients have reported that their mental clarity increased and their anxiety decreased after receiving treatment.
Other reported health benefits include:
- Pain relief from muscle and bone issues
- Increased range of motion
- Relief from digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, and diarrhea
- Better circulation
- Reduced inflammation
Side Effects of Cupping Therapy
If performed properly, cupping therapy is a pain-free and low-risk treatment. A few mild side effects may occur during or soon after your cupping session. Common side effects include:
- Bruised skin
- Skin infections
If you believe you could benefit from cupping therapy, consider visiting Healthbound Clinic in Hamilton, Ontario. Their treatment center gives you access to trained medical professionals who can guide you through the assessment process, help you get an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that works for you.