Cupping Therapy – Does it work?


There are all kinds of various physical therapies that you can look at for a variety of medical conditions. Some of them are recognized as official medical treatments, while many are not. This does not mean that they are not effective, however, it just means that they help patients in a way that cannot be necessarily tracked by medicine. Cupping Therapy is one of these examples, an ancient and special kind of therapy that originated from Ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures. It is a practice that has been modernized and is used widely around the world today to help with a wide variety of conditions.

In its core, cupping is when a patient lies on their stomach and has cups applied to specific parts of their back in different ways. There are various kinds of cupping, which will be discussed later, that can be more beneficial than others, but the basics are the same. Cupping enables the skin to be suctioned and the blood vessels get a chance to expand. Cupping is designed to improve blood flow and rid the body of toxins and poisons that have built up. The cups can be made of bamboo, glass, or stoneware depending on the preference of the therapist and patient. While a lot of Western doctors will scoff at cupping and say it only works as a placebo, there are some researchers who have found that cupping has proven to be very therapeutic when combined with other traditional practices such as acupuncture.

The most common kind of cupping is:

Wet cupping, in which a flammable substance is lighted and slipped into the cup as it is applied to the skin. As soon as the cup is suctioned onto the patient, the fire goes out and the cooling air allows the blood vessels to expand, giving better blood flow. Then, the therapist will make tiny cuts in the skin and apply a second cup, which will suction up the blood that spills out. This ensures that anything bad is drawn out of the skin, and the good blood stays inside the body.

Dry cupping works the same way, though without the small incisions on the skin. It focuses the session on applying multiple cups over the back and suctioning the skin with the flammable substance which will gradually allow the blood flow to become stronger. Generally, the heated cup will stay on the skin for 10 minutes and leave a mark after it is removed. The marks will disappear after a few days.

Massage cupping, or moving cupping, is when an oil is applied to the skin primarily and then when the cup suctions to the skin, it is moved gently over the back. It is similar to massage therapy for this reason. Due to the fact that it rubs against the skin as it moves, generally therapists will use silicone cups so that the movement is smoother and the cup itself is more flexible.

Vacuum cupping is less practice than the three previously mentioned, but is a good option for some due to the fact that it does not use any kind of fire to work. A special vacuum cup is applied to the skin and the air gets suctioned out or in depending on the preference of the therapist and patient. This is a great kind of cupping because the therapist has total control over the amount of suction and there is no heat involved for those who are not comfortable with it.

There also cupping techniques like:

Myofascial cupping (a kind that focuses on the muscles and skeletons of the body), magnetic cupping (which will help blood circulation by encouraging movement through the magnets themselves), facial cupping, liquid cupping, and acupuncture cupping (inserting acupuncture needles before vacuuming the skin).

As you can probably assume from all of the different kinds of cupping, there are various benefits that can come from the practice. The most obvious one, as we’ve discussed, is increased blood flow. In wet cupping, patients can also rid their body of toxins and other poisons that are running through their blood.

Massage cupping is a great alternative to massage therapy and has improved results that will make themselves even more beneficial than traditional massage therapy.

Facial cupping is a great way to take care of double chins, acne, or muscle stiffness as a result of a stroke or Parkinson’s.

Myofascial cupping is a popular practice done by athletes to improve muscle health and growth.

The truth of it is, cupping is a great way to relax overall. There are many celebrities around the world who are taking part in this practice regularly. Many state that it is a great way to relax their muscles after a long day at work, and others say that cupping is a great way to recover from a serious illness like cancer, or even a bad flu that has made you sluggish. Cupping is known to revitalize the skin and the person within, creating an all together better experience for the patient.

Great for athletes, recovering patients, and curing blood flow problems, it seems that certain medical institutions are the only ones who won’t acknowledge its use. As mentioned, many studies show that cupping is, in fact, a great therapy when combined with typical medications and other treatments like acupuncture. Someday in the future, it will be acknowledged as a medical practice, the evidence to its success is just too great.

As you have learned, there are various kinds of cupping that exist, all of which can help patients differently. If you are someone who is looking for an alternative to massage therapy, a way to make your acupuncture more beneficial, a way to revitalize your skin on the face and back, a way to get rid of cellulite or promote weight loss, or even a way to help you muscle growth and development, cupping is the way to go. It is non-invasive and has had positive results all around the world.