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Curious about cupping?

Ever wondered what cupping is all about? Read on to learn more about this unusual and highly effective treatment!

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a form of therapy included in Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in which glass (sometimes plastic or even bamboo) cups are placed on the body at specific points. Traditional fire cupping uses a flame to burn the oxygen out of the cup first and then it is placed on the body. This creates a vacuum seal and the skin actually gets sucked up into the cup and this holds the cup in place. The flame does not touch the body and the cups are not hot. Other types of cups use a hand pump to remove oxygen instead.

What Does Cupping Do?

The purpose of cupping is pain relief. It helps to clear energetic blocks and to detox the body. Cupping also rushes blood and circulation to the treated area, helps remove fascial adhesions and relax muscles. It is a great treatment for pain management as it decreases soreness and stiffness and it helps increase mobility.

What Does Cupping Feel Like?

Cupping feels great! When the cup is first placed on the skin there can be a mild discomfort as your skin gets used to the tight sensation of the seal. Also, if the area is very sore, or for some people with fibromyalgia, the sensation may be too much. Your practitioner should be able to gauge how tight to make the cup and that helps to increase or decrease the intensity. After the cups come off, most clients say they feel amazing! Cupping can bring instant pain relief for some - especially for neck and back pain. Its benefits are similar to a deep tissue massage but take a fraction of the time.

How Long Does Cupping Take?

The length of time the cups are in place will vary depending on the severity of the condition being treated and the overall health of the patient. Most cupping sessions are about 15 minutes. I typically do not cup longer than 20 minutes and sometimes as little as 10 minutes depending on the condition and patient I’m treating.

How Many Cups Are Used?

The number of cups used will vary depending on the area being treated, the age and condition of the patient, and the severity of the issue. Anywhere from 4-6 cups is typical but more or fewer may be used. More robust patients will typically have more cups used than weaker or frail patients.

Will Cupping Leave Marks?

Cupping often leaves a circular red mark or bruise on the skin that usually fades within a few days. Some patients don’t get marks at all. Those with longer standing or more severe problems typically turn a darker shade of red/purple and their marks will take longer to fade, around 7-10 days. The amount of time the cups are left on will also affect this. The color of the marks give the practitioner an overall idea of the condition.

How Often Should I Get Cupping Done?

Cupping can be done as often as twice per week as long as the cupping marks from the prior session have faded. Most of my patients get cupping done weekly, but bi-weekly and even monthly treatments are still beneficial.

What is Slide Cupping?

Slide Cupping (or sometimes called Sliding Cup) therapy is done by moving the cups back and forth on skin using massage oil. This method of cupping helps to strongly circulate the blood and soothe sore or spasming muscles. It’s one of the best ways to release chronic neck and back pain and feels great!

Are There Contraindications for Cupping?

Cupping is generally safe for most patients but should not be used on inflamed or damaged skin. Areas of the neck should be avoided on those with high blood pressure. Cupping should also be avoided in areas with deep vein thrombosis and used with caution on diabetic patients.

Ready to Try Cupping?

Contact Hocking Hills Acupuncture today and schedule your Acupuncture appointment with cupping add-on today! Your body will thank you!


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