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Cupping techniques were originally developed thousands of years ago and have been most popularly utilized as a traditional Chinese medicine treatment.  Cupping therapy has been used over the years to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing. Traditionally, the use of cupping assisted to reduce stagnation of Qi along channels. In recent year the use of this ancient healing art has gained interest of celebrities, healthcare practitioners and everyday people seeking safe treatment for pain.

How Does Cupping Help?

After any injury, areas that have been affected now have a blockage of blood and body fluids. Injured joints become swollen and painful. Backs become stiff, painful and range of motion is limited. Over time, the body may be able to unblock these injured areas. Other times, the area continues to hurt and does not ever feel completely the same. Acupuncture and cupping speed up and assist the rate at which you heal and aids the body in its own ability to heal itself completely. This is done by moving blood flow to the area and increasing circulation.

After the Treatment:

After the therapy, cupping will often produce a red or purple circle upon the skin that may take a few days to heal. These circles are only dark colored if the area that is cupped has "stagnant" blood and body fluids. These circular discolorations and bruising occur in the process of drawing this stagnation out of injured areas and promoting fresh oxygenated blood flow. This is all part of the healing process. As patient improve with each treatment, the circular discolorations will become less and less red. Everyone heals at their own unique pace and and some of the healing will also depend on how active patient is, how well he/she will treat their body (diet, posture, stress management) and how often they come to therapy.

How Does it Work?

Cupping is a modality of traditional Chinese medicine in which glass cups are suctioned to the skin using heat to create a vacuum. This therapy helps to eliminate toxins, relieve congestion, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. The cups can be left stationary or slid along pre-oiled skin, depending on the ailment.

Cupping pulls blood to a region to stimulate healing. It is effective at stretching tight fascia and muscles. As new blood is forced into the tissues around the cups the body will begin a process of new blood vessel formation called neovascularization. These new vessels can feed the tissues with nutrients and oxygen, leading to lasting pain relief.

While the tissues get saturated with fresh blood, the vacuum pulls stagnant blood out of the area. Where there is dead, static blood, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors and toxins present in the body, cupping can leave marks which indicates that the stagnation has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface. 

Is Cupping Therapy Painful?

Most clients describe the pain level of cupping as minimal. The suction from the cups that are used can create red marks that generally last up to 72 hours but are generally not painful to the touch.

Who Would Benefit?

Lung Issues:

Cupping over the lungs helps to loosen up phlegm, boost immunity and deepen breathing. It’s effective for common colds, asthma and allergies.


When we talk about detoxifying, what we are really trying to do is to clear excess heat that burdens the liver. This accumulates from stress, eating processed foods, drinking alcohol and coffee, and taking pharmaceuticals. Cupping clears excess heat from the body, as evidenced by the red marks that can linger on the skin for several days after.

Weight Loss:

Rich, high-fat and processed foods bog down the Spleen-Stomach system and create mucus in the body. This results in bloating, gas, loose stools and abdominal distension. Cupping can help clear this mucus and aid in weight loss.

Musculoskeletal Pain:

Cupping is like a reverse massage, using suction rather than pressure to relax the muscles. The heat and suction also work to bring fresh blood to a pain area and release blockages there. It is useful for back, neck and shoulder pain, and sciatica.

Digestive Problems:

Cupping can help improve the digestive system when the cups are applied to the stomach area. By relaxing the stomach muscles and improving blood flow, it can increase nutrient absorption.

Benefits of Cupping:

So to wrap up, cupping can help you overcome old and new injury by:

  1. Increasing circulation

  2. Increasing oxygenation and tissue delivery

  3. Remove old stagnant blood

  4. Cause micro trauma and beneficial inflammation

  5. Create new blood vessels

  6. Stretch fascia and connective tissue

Cupping is helpful when used in conjunction with joint manipulation and acupuncture. Cupping, like many holistic techniques works at different rates for different people.

Try Cupping!

If you have chronic muscle and joint pain, try cupping. You’ll know quickly if it will help. Call today to schedule your appointment.

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