Cupping seems to be gaining popularity in recent years (thank you Michael Phelps), as more and more people seek to try it or use it as part of their recovery/ self care.
I recommend cupping often, as I see a lot of tight and tired muscles. Often people ask how it works or why it is beneficial.
Cupping is a therapy used as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a suctioned cup that is placed on the skin which draws the tissues into it. The suction can come from a suction/ pump or from heating the cup with a flame, which causes the pressure gradient when the cup is placed on the skin. This draws blood up and through, stretches out the fascia and muscles and has the effect of loosening up tight areas. It’s like the reverse of a massage!
Is cupping limited to musculoskeletal? Historically, not at all! It has been used as part of a TCM treatment to help aid the body to detox and to draw out ‘excesses’ or improve circulation where there is accumulation and a build up.
Another question I get asked is if it is painful. If you are trying it for the first time, it can be a strange sensation initially as the cup gets placed on, you might just feel a tightness. Your practitioner will have complete control over the intensity of the cup and can moderate it to your preference. This sensation should pass over the next few minutes.
So what are the marks that come up? This is the blood getting drawn up and through the tissue. Although the marks may look like bruises, they are not real bruises as there has been no impact or trauma to the area. This is just part of the normal process of cupping where blood and toxins are drawn up and through the tissues to aid in better circulation and detoxification of a local area. The marks generally don’t last much longer than a few days to a week, but it may be worth booking your appointment away from any special events if you’re concerned!
Want to try cupping or find out more? Give us call and one of our practitioner can talk you through it.