Cupping Therapy has been around for approximately 5,000 years. It was applied to key points on the body for relief of pain, certain symptoms, and medical conditions. Cupping therapy also known as just “cupping” is a type of manual therapy treatment, where various “cups” are placed on different parts of the body. Using a match or vacuum pump, suction is applied to the skin drawing blood through the tissues to the surface. Cupping was widely used throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, but is now more commonly accepted and used all over the world. Cupping has a wide variety of uses like treating swelling, chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, and tissue stiffness.
The most common type of cupping technique is dry cupping, where the cups are placed directly on intact skin. At times, oils or lotions are also applied for added benefit and suction. Static cupping therapy is when the cup is left in one place. Dynamic cupping therapy is when the cup is applied to one particular spot of the body while the patient moves that body part. Myofascial dragging is another method where the therapist will drag or slide the cup over a targeted area or group of muscles.
When having cupping performed the patient will feel a “pulling” sensation over the area of the skin where the cups are applied. The intensity of the “pull” is dependent on the size of the cup, location and suction. The intensity can be varied, as needed, depending on the patient’s preference. Cupping to be a very safe and effective alternative manual technique that we provide. Currently, more research is being performed to provide evidence for the benefits of cupping.
Ryan Larson PT, DPT has been treating patients with a variety of modalities to ensure their successful return to their active lifestyle.