From time to time, new trends in exercise, diet, and treatment emerge and take the wellness community by storm, seemingly overnight. Given the rate at which these trends can drop in and out of favor, it can be easy to dismiss many of them as some kind of passing fad.
To many who aren’t familiar, cupping therapy could very well seem like one of these strange and fleeting fads. What does suctioning cups to the skin really have to do with health and wellness anyways? It almost seems hard to believe that such a strange practice would be so widely embraced and touted.
The truth, however, is that cupping therapy is not a new practice at all. In fact, it has been around in various forms for thousands of years dating back to ancient China. Despite the unconventional approach, it has been shown to be effective at aiding blood flow and recovery time and again.
Let’s take a look at what cupping therapy really entails and how it works to understand the practice a little better.
What Is Cupping Therapy Anyways?
Cupping is a type of therapy that almost works as a sort of reverse massage. Rather than applying pressure to an area, round cups are suctioned to the skin using heat or manual stimulation. A vacuum of pressure is formed inside the cup, which draws skin and blood within the cup upward into the cup.
This process usually involves a minimum of 2-3 cups that are left in place for 5-10 minutes. After they are removed, slight bruising may occur though this should clear up within a few days.
How Does Cupping Therapy Work?
The basic principle behind cupping therapy is that tightly sucking up the blood and skin within the cup causes your body to increase blood flow to that area.
This increased blood flow basically kickstarts the body’s natural immune and recovery responses in that general area.
By placing cups in specifically determined spots, practitioners are able to target specific areas where they want to draw this kind of response. Depending on the condition they are treating, they will place them accordingly.
Cupping therapy is thought to speed up the breakdown and recovery of scar tissue within the body, as well as aiding muscles and connective tissue with relaxation and recovery. This is one of the most popular reasons many people engage in cupping therapy, and why it is especially popular among athletes.
So, Does Cupping Therapy Really Work?
Given the somewhat unusual approach cupping therapy treatment takes, many naturally wonder whether it really works or not. Despite having been around for thousands of years by this point, research into the effects and benefits of cupping therapy is, unfortunately, a bit sparse.
Despite this, it is widely accepted and practiced worldwide. While researchers seek to better understand this treatment style, medical practitioners regularly engage in cupping therapy with patients as a supplemental treatment.
When used alongside other treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy, a great deal of cupping patients report feeling more relaxed with and improved therapy recovery times.
If you would like to learn more about cupping therapy to see if this treatment style is right for you, we encourage you to contact your medical professional today and give it a go!