Cupping Therapy

In my South Loop acupuncture clinic, cupping therapy has become popular ever since the 2016 Rio Olympic Athletes were seen using it to ease their muscular pain. Cupping has been used for thousands of years, although acupuncture needles are the most commonly thought of modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), other tools or modalities are used as well.

Cupping in acupuncture:

Glass cupping:
Also called fire cupping, these thick warm glass cups are attached to the skins surface to create a suction/ negative pressure by introducing heat briefly to the inside of the cup just before applying it to the skin. Glass cups can also be moved around the skins surface to treat a larger surface area.

Plastic cupping:
The plastic cups are made from a hard durable plastic and comes in a variety of sizes. They’re placed onto the skin where a small device attaches to the top of the cup and can be used to pump the air out of the cup to create the suction affect. These cups are left in there position and cannot be moved around the skin.

Acupuncture Cupping Benefits

1) Warming and promoting circulation of blood and fluids
2) Diminishes swelling and pain.  
3) Muscular pain in the neck, back, shoulders, hips and legs.
4) Alleviates respiratory symptoms related to congestion, coughing and asthma.

Cupping may also be used to eliminate toxins stored in the muscle and fat tissue of our body.

What does Cupping Acupuncture Feel Like?

Most patients describe the feeling as suction cups or pressure on the skin that is warm and pleasantly comfortable. After cupping there may be a bruise at the local area, this is normal and will disappear within a few days. Multiple treatments may be needed depending on the amount of discoloration that appears after each treatment. Benefits are achieved when discoloration no longer surfaces during the cupping treatment.



How Does Acupuncture Work

Traditional Chinese Medicine includes acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. They are apart of a system that restores balance and builds the body’s life force or energy known as Qi. Acupuncturists recognize particular pathways called “meridians” through which this energy circulates. There are 14 meridians within the body and they each correspond to a different organ and when ailments arise these meridians become unbalanced creating illness, disease or pain in the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine disease is the result of an imbalance or blockage in the body’s natural energetic flow. Such imbalances manifest in physical, emotional and psychosomatic stress related disorders. 

Acupuncture needling is one of a number of energy balancing techniques used to treat these imbalances. Also included, are various techniques like Chinese Herbal Medicine, moxibustion, gua sha, massage and cupping. These techniques are used to direct your body’s own natural energy to areas that are unbalanced. Some Western medical studies have done research, supporting the theory that acupuncture works by activating the central nervous system, each time a needle is placed within the body small signals may be sent through the central nervous system to the brain stimulating the release of serotonin and endorphins


What Does Acupuncture Do

Acupuncture works by treating the symptoms your experiencing and also works on a much deeper level to address the source of your symptoms. This is how acupuncture is able to treat so many conditions like, depression, anxiety, infertility, peripheral neuropathy, back pain and shoulder pain to name a few. It works on treating both internal and external symptoms, issues you have been dealing with for years, weeks or days. It can be used alone or along with your current Western Medical regimen. It has a remarkable effect on the whole body and can be noticed after just one treatment.