For thousands of years, people have used cupping to relieve back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other issues. The purpose of cupping therapy is to pull blood into the skin by creating a suction force.
Despite its popularity now, cupping therapy is not new. Historically, it has been practiced by ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. Cupping therapy was used by the ancient Egyptians as early as 1,550 B.C., according to the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical textbooks in existence.
In this article, we will learn more about cupping therapy, how it works, its benefits, and its risks.
What is cupping therapy?
Cupping therapy is a traditional Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine practice that is used for a wide variety of medical conditions. Cups are placed at specific points on the skin of the patient. Suction is created in the cups which pull on the skin.
There are two types of traditional cupping therapy: dry and wet. During wet cupping, the skin is punctured before suction is started, which removes some blood. Cupping of this type is less common in the United States because practitioners are required to be licensed medical professionals. Blood vessels burst after being exposed to cupping’s suction effects, leaving round bruises on the skin.
Since the side effect of bruises on the skin, dynamic cupping is the new trend nowadays. Dynamic cupping is the more advanced method of traditional cupping. It is a combination of massage movements, joint movements, and pressure from a cupping device.
Benefits of cupping therapy
There are many benefits when it comes to cupping therapy. Here are a few of those:
- Relief from pain – The primary benefit of cupping is to help relieve chronic muscle tension and pain, especially in the back, neck, and shoulders. Muscle tension can be caused by several factors, all of which are physiological effects of stress. As muscles get stressed, blood vessels get constricted, restricting blood flow to soft tissues like muscles, tendons, and nerves. A common area affected by this is the back. Cupping can correct this problem by stretching and loosening tight muscles and connective tissue adhesions. Not only does this relieve your muscles, but it also helps clear any inflammation that has built up in your soft tissues.
- Improved circulation – Blood circulation is increased in the area where the warm-to-hot cups are placed when cupping is performed. Boosting cell repair and blood flow can be improved by reducing muscle tension. Furthermore, it is capable of building new blood vessels as well as building new connective tissues. Additionally, it reduces the risk of muscle strain and injury in the future, especially if you train your muscles heavily.
- Increased relaxation – The gentle pressure created by cupping can be soothing and relaxing, which can help reduce stress and promote a sense of overall well-being. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated as the cups glide across your skin during a cupping session. By doing this, you will be able to experience deep relaxation throughout your entire body. The parasympathetic nervous system slows your heart rate, aids digestion, and increases intestinal and gland activity.
- Respiratory Relief – Suction from the cups breaks up and expels congestion. In addition to bringing oxygen-rich blood and lymph to your lungs, it simultaneously stimulates your other respiratory muscles. Cupping can also be used to unclog your sinuses.
What are the risks of traditional cupping?
Although cupping has a lot of benefits, there are also some risks associated with it. This includes the following:
- Skin injury – It can cause mild to severe skin irritations, bruises, or blisters.
- Infections – If a patient has a skin infection, it can spread throughout the skin or to other patients if the cups are not properly disinfected.
- Allergic reactions – Some people may be allergic to the materials used such as silicone or rubber.
- Internal organ damage – When you are cupping near certain internal organs such as the lungs or intestines, it may cause internal organ damage or internal bleeding.
- Interference with medical conditions – Traditional cupping may interfere with certain medical conditions such as bleeding disorders, low blood pressure, or skin infections.
With these risks, it is a good thing that with new technology, consumers have another choice and that is Dynamic cupping. Here are two of the best devices that are available in the market today that use dynamic cupping.
CupperCare – Electric Cupping Therapy Massager Device With Heating for Shoulder, Back, and Neck
An all-in-one device that combines dynamic suction, smart massage, and red light therapy. It’s an excellent recovery tool for pain management and myofascial release, perfect for professional and home use.
It is used to treat lack of mobility, tight muscles, scars, and many diagnoses like headaches, tendinitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, and the release of trigger points.
MeCare – Electric Cupping Massager with Gua Sha Scrapping
This dynamic cupping device provides a rhythmic alternation of suction and release technique, 4 adjustable suction power levels, and 10 infrared light therapy option that promotes deep massage and relaxation.
Cupping for coping. We’ve learned to live with our chronic pain. With days of which some are good and others not quite. Home devices like this one make your breaks worthwhile. Just turn it on and point it at the problem area. It’ll help you with arthritis, muscle pain, asthma, and headaches. Use it whenever you can, wherever you are.