Cupping therapy is a centuries-old healing method that has its roots in ancient Eastern medicine. The practice involves placing special cups on your skin to create a vacuum-like effect that draws blood flow towards the targeted area. This technique is believed to encourage healing, stimulate muscle recovery, and alleviate a variety of health conditions.
How Does Cupping Therapy Work?
From a biomedical perspective, cupping therapy is thought to stimulate blood flow and encourage the body’s natural healing processes. By creating a vacuum on the skin, it increases blood circulation to the area under the cup, which can relieve muscle tension, promote cell repair, and aid in forming new connective tissues and blood vessels.
While the scientific evidence behind cupping therapy is still developing, some research indicates potential benefits. A 2018 review found that cupping could help with conditions like chronic neck or shoulder pain, as well as other conditions when combined with other treatments such as acupuncture or medications.
Techniques and Types of Cups
The application of cupping therapy can vary in technique and the types of cups used. Here are some common methods:
- Stationary Cupping: This traditional method involves creating a vacuum inside the cup, which is then quickly placed onto the skin where treatment is desired. The suction created pulls the skin slightly up into the cup. The cup is left in place on the body for 5-10 minutes. This type of cupping is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine applications to move qi and blood, and most importantly to release “wind“.
- Moving Cupping : This involves the same process as stationary cupping, but the cups are then pushed, or moved, on the body. This can act to release tight musculature, move stagnation of qi and blood, and also release wind. I like to use this technique on the upper back along the spine when people have a cold.
- Dynamic Cupping: This is taking the above steps and going one further. Instead of the practitioner moving the cups, the patient will go through exercises or a range of motion after the cups have been placed on the body. Only plastic or silicone cups are used for this type of cupping, because they often fall off and need to be reapplied. This works to break any adhesions by decompressing the skin, fascia and muscle layers. Once this decompression has occurred, blood and lubricating acids can return to the area, and allow for the healthy slide and glide of these tissues and reinstate pain free movement.
Types of cups used in cupping therapy can range from traditional bamboo cups to glass, ceramic, and more recently, silicone and plastic. Each type of cup can offer different benefits, with silicone and plastic cups being more flexible, which can be beneficial for moving cupping, and glass or ceramic cups often preferred for their heat retention in hot cupping.
At Ross Acupuncture Clinic, our skilled practitioners are experienced in various cupping techniques and can tailor your treatment to meet your individual health needs. Whether you are an athlete seeking recovery, someone dealing with chronic pain, or simply looking to enhance your overall well being, we’re here to guide you on your health journey with our range of holistic treatments.
Ross Acupuncture Clinic proudly serves as a holistic health center for the communities of Oakland and Berkeley, California, while also reaching out to those living in the broader Bay Area. Our clientele hails from diverse regions, including San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, and Contra Costa Counties, attesting to the widespread appeal of our specialized care. Through combining traditional techniques with contemporary methods, we bring highly effective acupuncture treatments to a diverse population in Northern California, promoting health and wellness throughout our expansive service area