CHARLOTTE – This article was published previously, earlier in the year. One of my favorite modalities is cupping therapy. Sometimes this is referred to as medi cupping, thera cupping, or Chinese cupping. It’s based upon ancient Chinese “alternative” therapies. Most people remember many years ago when Michael Phelps was swimming in the Olympics. There was quite a bit of excitement created when he showed the distinct dark circles that were on his back. Yes, this is a product of cupping but usually, the redness or coloration is temporary. Everyone is different, therapists have different techniques – ask what to expect.
First, what is cupping exactly? Your therapist might use plastic or rubber-like cups that suction your body. Sometimes it can be a little uncomfortable (make sure you communicate with your therapist) but the relief I’ve felt and that most of my clients feel is remarkable.
What exactly does cupping do? Think of cupping this way: Your muscles/soft tissues are like a pile of tissue paper. When you suction the cup to the skin it’s as if the tissue paper (muscle/soft tissue) is lifted and separated. This allows the stagnant blood and lymph to move out of the area, encouraging fresh, healthy blood and lymph to move into the area.
Cupping helps with inflammation, healing, pain management, and encourages overall health. In fact, a recent study proved that cupping in one area can have a healthful effect on your entire body. I’ll discuss next week how cupping encourages health in a different kind of way. Ask your therapist how you might benefit.