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:
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.
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.