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CUPPING THERAPY

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What is Soft-Tissue Cupping Therapy?

 

If you are a passionate sports fan, you may have noticed rounded red or purple areas commonly seen on athletes backs and shoulders. Or perhaps you have noticed it on people within the general public too, and were wondering what it was. This is the result of a Myofascial Cupping session.

Myofascial cupping is a soft-tissue therapy which involves the application of compressed cups on the skin, creating a vacuum effect that lifts up underlying tissues such as the connectives tissue fascia, muscle, blood and other fluids close to the surface of the skin. The cups are typical applied to the back, neck, shoulder, hip and leg regions.

Is it Scientifically Proven?

2018 review of studies noted that cupping therapy has reported benefits for a variety of conditions that can be categorized as either localized or systematic diseases. Cupping is thought to alleviate symptoms by promoting peripheral (close to the skin) blood circulation and improving immunity.

Main Effects:

  • promoting the skin’s blood flow

  • changing the skin’s biomechanical properties

  • increasing pain thresholds

  • improving local anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism

  • reducing inflammation

  • boosting cellular immunity 

Does Cupping Remove Toxins?

 

According to the research mentioned above, cupping may remove toxins by stimulating the immune response, both locally and systemically. 

It may also eliminate uric acid, a natural waste product from the digestion of certain foods. Uric acid buildup can lead to high levels of acidity in the blood and urine. Cupping also has a positive effect on the lymphatic system, which is partially responsible for eliminating your body’s waste.

Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.

What Conditions can be Treated?

Cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:

 

 

 

 

Are there any Side Effects?

The side effects you may experience typically occur during your treatment or immediately after, such as:

  • circular marks where the cups have been

  • bruising

  • dizziness

 

You may feel lightheaded or dizzy during your treatment. Rarely, you may also experience sweating or nausea.  After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern.

What Should I Expect?

  1. The practitioner will place cups on your skin.

  2. You’ll feel a sucking sensation and pressure as the cups are suctioned.

  3. The practitioner may use heat or suction alone to place the cups.

  4. Depending on the type of cupping, the practitioner may leave you to rest for a few minutes before they return to either manipulate the cups by gliding or remove the cups.

  5. Your skin may turn red and show light bruising after your session.

Scientific Reviews:

Aboushanab, T. S., & AlSanad, S. (2018). Cupping therapy: an overview from a modern medicine perspective. Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies, 11(3), 83-87.

Al-Bedah, A. M., Elsubai, I. S., Qureshi, N. A., Aboushanab, T. S., Ali, G. I., El-Olemy, A. T., ... & Alqaed, M. S. (2019). The medical perspective of cupping therapy: Effects and mechanisms of action. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 9(2), 90-97.

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