What is cupping?

Cupping is a healing therapy that uses a globe-shaped cup. After placing the open side of the cup against your skin, your provider creates a vacuum that gently pulls the skin, muscles, and fascia up into the cup.

In traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners created the vacuum by placing a burning substance inside the cup. The vacuum developed as the air inside the cup cooled down. Today’s modern cups have a built-in pump that produces the vacuum by pulling air out of the cup.

As the tissues go into the cup, blood circulation increases, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. At the same time, the boost in circulation allows your lymph system to remove more toxins and cellular waste. 

What conditions benefit from cupping?

The highly trained medical providers at Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation often recommend cupping for patients needing relief from pain, stress, and muscle tension and stiffness. 

Your provider may use cupping for many conditions. A few examples include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain

Athletes often use cupping to support muscle recovery, as the technique eliminates lactic acid and toxins from inflamed muscles. 

Are there different methods of cupping?

Yes, there are several ways to use cupping. Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation clinicians are extensively trained in multiple techniques, including: 

Static cupping

This technique targets deeper muscles. It’s just like the basic technique described above. The cups stay in place after the tissues are suctioned into the cup. 

Dynamic cupping

Your provider uses a silicone cup and glides it across the surface of your skin. 

Dry vs. wet cupping 

Dry cupping is any technique that doesn’t use an incision. During wet cupping, your provider gently punctures the skin before placing the cup over the area. This technique lets more toxins escape and may eliminate heavy metals. 

What happens during cupping?

Your Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation provider often performs cupping on your back, but they may also place the cups on your stomach, arms, and legs. In most cases, cupping takes 2-10 minutes. The only side effects are round bruises where the cup was placed.

To learn how cupping can improve your health, call Back To You Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation to book an appointment today.