Cupping therapy is a manual therapy technique that uses vacuum suction to release the tension that builds up in your soft tissue. This technique involves the use of small glass or plastic suction cups that are used to gently lift your skin and the soft tissue underneath. The process draws more blood to the treated area, and this blood brings with it important nutrients and oxygen that aid in muscle repair.
Over time, cupping can help restore flexibility in the muscles and tendons, making it easier for you to move around comfortably. It can also help improve circulation, which keeps your heart healthy, helps your body heal faster and improves brain functioning.
Conditions We Treat
Cupping is often used to treat strains, sprains and repetitive stress injuries. However, it can be used to treat any condition that causes chronic pain. Here are a few examples:
- General back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain.
- Herniated discs.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Asthma and other breathing disorders.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Headaches (migraines, cervicogenic, etc.).
- High blood pressure.
It’s important to note that cupping is most effective when used in conjunction with other physical therapy treatment methods. It does not “heal” any particular condition. Managing a condition like chronic back pain or rheumatoid arthritis often requires ongoing treatment. Your physical therapist will likely instruct you to stretch, exercise and follow other treatment suggestions to find long-term pain relief.
What to Expect During Treatment
Physical therapists recommend that you arrive at your first cupping session well rested and hydrated, so get some sleep the night before and drink plenty of water the day of. This will help to get your blood flowing at a healthy rate so it has an easier time flowing toward the treatment area.
During your treatment, the doctor will apply a series of suction cups to the area where you’re feeling pain. The process will leave temporary marks on the skin; they’ll go away within a few days. However, cupping itself is not usually painful, and many patients report the process to be quite relaxing.
Each session lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, and physical therapists recommend that patients undergo five to 10 sessions to achieve the full benefits of this process.
Afterward, you should continue to drink water to help flush out any lymphatic waste in your bloodstream. You should do your best to stay warm, as this will keep your blood flowing to the treated areas.
Interested in our cupping services? Contact an Alliance clinic in your city today!