Have you ever noticed multiple round bruise like circles or discolorations on peoples backs, necks or even shoulders and wondered what it was? The answer is cupping therapy!
For a few years now, celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston) and Olympics athletes (Michael Phelps) have been showing off their cupping marks like it’s a new designer handbag or gold medal! I’m sure its probably made you question what exactly cupping is, how does it work and and why is it suddenly so popular?
Cupping has been used to assist with a range of musculoskeletal aches and pains, and this means you do not need to be an Olympic athlete or celeb to experience its benefits and jump on the cupping trend.
So lets dive right in and answer all of your cupping questions!
What is cupping?
Although Cupping is becoming a lot more popular, it is not new, it originated from traditional Chinese and Egyptian medicine and has been around for thousands of years.
However, today many practitioners of different disciplines and allied health can be trained in the use of cupping to help treat a variety of musculoskeletal related pains, injuries and conditions.
Cupping is a form of therapy which involves placing cups (glass or plastic) onto the skin to create a suction. This suction traditionally was formed by the use of heat (via flame), however today suction can be created via the use of plastic vacuum tool/gun which removes air from the cup creating suction (which is not only mess free, but is a quick and easy application and most importantly is just as effective!)
The cups are typically placed on the skin over a specific targeted area of the body (muscle, fascia and connective tissue) and can either be moved (with slight suction) or remain stationary over the area with the aim to reduce tension and promote and encourage tissue healing. This form is known as “Dry cupping”. Cups typically remain on the body for 5-10 minutes.
Cupping is a useful technique we can use to treat muscular tension, pain, stiffness and tightness.
How does it work?
The research of how cupping works is limited; however, it is suggested that when the cups are applied to the target area and suction is met, blood flow is drawn and directed to the area to promote healing.
Just like any injury, the body recognises that the area where the cups were placed needs “attention” and promotes more blood towards that area encouraging natural healing. Just how incredible are our bodies!
What are the benefits?
- Cupping has been reported to have several benefits which includes:
- Increasing blood flow to the target area
- Enhances circulation
- Reduces local pain
- Reduces muscle tension
- Promotes and stimulates healing
- Improved muscle recovery (after athletic activity)
- Loosens fascia, connective tissue and musculature
What happens after the cups are removed?
Cupping may cause temporary round bruising or discoloration to the skin, this is due to the breaking of tiny blood vessels beneath the skin. Typically, the marks left will fade over 7-14 days and will disappear. Sometimes the area may be a little sore but most of the time you will forget the marks are even there!
What are the risks?
The risks of cupping are low, and it is typically a safe form of treatment. Cupping is usually avoided if there is a history of bleeding disorders, blood clots, strokes or skin conditions.
You may however experience post treatment related symptoms which may include bruising, muscle tension, soreness or even a headache. This is dependent on how your body responds, always remember everyone is different!
Have we got you interested?
Here at Bodywell Healthcare we have several practitioners who are trained in cupping therapy! If you are interested in giving cupping a go, have a chat with one of our osteopaths or even ask our friendly staff at reception!
Prior to receiving cupping, your practitioner will assess if cupping would be beneficial, suitable and safe for you to receive.
Please note: not all practitioners can offer cupping.
To book an appointment, call 9717 1200 or alternatively book online at https://www.bodywellhealthcare.com.au/book-online/