June 30, 2023
What is cupping therapy?
Myofascial Decompression Therapy is commonly referred to as Cupping Therapy or Chinese Medical Cupping. There are different types of cups that can be used to create negative pressure which gently “sucks” the soft tissue upwards. Fire cupping uses glass cups and a flame waved inside the cup before applying it to the skin. The heat of the flame helps create the negative pressure by removing oxygen from the cup. Hard plastic cups have a valve at the top and a hand pump that attaches to the cup to regulate the negative pressure inside the cup. Soft silicone cups are applied by the practitioner depressing the middle of the cup or inverting it just before applying it to the skin.
In the Traditional Oriental Medicine paradigm, cupping is believed to reduce stagnation and improve the flow of Qi (the life-force, universal energy). From a Western Medicine perspective, myofascial decompression therapy gently lifts and “separates” the soft tissue. This promotes circulation of blood and improved movement of lymph fluid. At the same time, this negative pressure reduces tension on the muscle and fascia. Cupping therapy can reduce swelling and inflammation, improve mobility and flexibility, and improve circulation.
If you are interested in adding cupping therapy to your next acupuncture or manual therapy appointment, please let us know.