Cupping is an ancient practice and can be found in Egyptian texts as far back as 1550 B.C. It was practiced in ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures as well. Within modern medicine, cupping has been adopted by practitioners across many different fields, including chiropractors.
We perform cupping therapy by placing specialized cups on your skin for several minutes to create suction. You can think of it as the opposite of a massage – pulling your tissue up rather than massing your tissue down. Depending on your needs, cupping can also be combined with acupuncture.
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Joint problems
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Digestive issues
- High blood pressure
Your practitioner will create the suction in the cups through the use of a small handheld vacuum device. This causes the skin and underlying tissue within the cups to lift, allowing for greater circulation and relief of pain. In most cases, these cups are left in place for a few minutes and then gently removed.
Benefits of cupping include reduced pain and inflammation, a greater sense of well-being, decreased pain and irritation caused by skin, joint, and muscle issues, improved digestion, and lowered blood pressure.
Side effects are generally mild and may include bruising where the cups were placed and minor discomfort. Bruising and marks left from the therapy typically last a few days, but may take more than a week to fade.