Cupping Therapy: An Introduction

It may look like some kind of torture (1) and may temporarily leave strange circles on your skin (cup-kisses), but it’s so unbelievably effective.

For thousands of years, cupping has been practiced in countries like China, Egypt, and Greece. Using cups to create a negative pressure on the skin, therapists can encourage healing, reduce pain and inflammation and promote good health. The cups used may be glass (using fire to create a vacuum), plastic (using a pump) or silicone and can be used dynamically or statically.

The science behind the suction is fascinating and something I will be delving into further (and sharing with you guys obviously!) over the next few months.

So what can it help with? Well to start it helps with inflammation, pain and blood circulation.

As well as:

  • Lower back pain & Sciatica
  • Tennis elbow & forearm pain
  • Wrist pain / Carpal tunnel
  • Neck pain / whiplash
  • Shoulder & rotator cuff injuries
  • Sore hamstrings / Hamstring strain
  • Knee pain / injuries
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Reducing Scars
  • Cellulite

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Cupping is used for so many systemic conditions and ailments, although that’s for another post!

I’m so excited to share this information with you. As therapists there is only so much we can do with our hands. And we certainly can’t create the negative pressure that the cups provide.

And it’s this negative pressure that can allow for the separation of adhered or “stuck’ tissues which can help clear out any interstitial debris (2), improve circulation, clear congestion or stagnation and rehydrate the tissues.

It’s really no wonder that its been passed around for generations and being used by Olympic athletes and Hollywood stars. But more importantly…everyday people!


(1) Please do not bother googling….it’s nothing like the horror stories you see!

(2) This is any material that the body can not dispose of on it’s own such as old blood from an injury, cellular waste, lactic acid, medications and toxins.

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