CHARLOTTE – Cupping is where a set of silicon (bamboo, plastic, or rarely, glass) cups are suctioned to your skin. This practice is considered an alternative and researchers think it’s been around since about 5000 BC. Its origins can be traced back to China, Egypt, and India. We’ve talked previously about the effects of cupping as it is attached to the skin, where it lifts the tissue and allows healthy blood and lymph to flow through. But cupping can help beyond this physical way.
Recently I read a cupping study was done concerning the effects of suction on the skin and underlying tissue, and the reaction of the body to that stimulus. The study found cupping itself increased the local blood flow and stretching of underlying tissue, but there was the activation of the HO-1 system. This activation might account for many of cupping therapy’s claimed local and systemic health benefits.
What is HO-1? It’s a stress protein that when activated, has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory and immunity engaging result. When HO-1 is activated it directly contributes to preventing and limiting tissue damage in our bodies. When I tell clients “cupping is not only good for whatever body part we are managing for pain, it’s also good for your overall health”, this is what I mean.
When you have a cupping session (with or without massage) on your hamstrings, shoulder, or back, it’s not only addressing the acute issue, it’s having a positive effect on your body and how it feels and responds.