There are two different types of cupping therapy, dry and wet. Patients generally receive cupping therapy for reasons such as to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and as a relaxation technique. In traditional versions of cupping therapy, the therapist will place a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper in the cup and set it on fire. As the fire goes out, the therapist will place the cup on your skin. As the air cools, a vacuum is formed, which causes your skin to raise and the blood vessels to expand. The cup is generally left in place for up to three minutes. In more modern versions of cupping therapy, a rubber pump is used, instead of fire, to create the vacuum. Therapists can also use silicone cups from place to place on the body to create a massage-like effect.
In wet cupping, a mild suction is created by leaving the cup in place for three minutes. The cup is then removed using a small scalpel to make light, tiny scratches on your skin. Then, a second cup is utilized to draw out a small quantity of blood. Afterwards, you will receive an antibiotic ointment and bandage to prevent infection.
Cupping therapy is used by a number of professional athletes as a means for faster recovery, due to the increased blood flow that results from the treatment. This increased blood flow is also credited with improved muscle movement. Those who watched the 2016 Summer Olympics may remember seeing circular bruises on the back of Michael Phelps. However, many Olympians at the most recent summer Olympics utilized the treatment and noted it as an important part of allowing them to stay at their peak performance level race after race. These athletes also note the absence of any side effects (other than the bruising) as a reason they choose cupping therapy as a preferred treatment.
The use of cupping therapy by the 2016 Olympians is just one example of a growing trend among high-level professional athletes using the therapy as a recovery method. Dr Ayaaz Farhat, the co-director of the London Cupping Clinic has been quoted as saying: “The increased use is for the same reason that freeze tanks or oxygen rich blood injections are used by International sports teams – to recover from the inevitable strains and knocks in time for the next round of competition.” Dr Farhat continued to say: “The main benefits are encouraging the inflammatory response of the body and speeding up muscular and soft tissue recovery after injury and strain.” While cupping therapy’s popularity is growing among professional athletes, it serves to be very effective for non-athletes also, in terms of reducing pain and inflammation, while increasing blood flow.
Cupping therapy is believed to be most effective as part of a larger treatment program and should be done only by a trained professional, after consulting with a doctor. Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab, Inc. is excited to now offer cupping therapy as a treatment option for our patients. If cupping therapy sounds like something you may want to be part of your treatment program, please give us a call at (330) 726-7404 to set up an appointment to discuss how cupping therapy may be able to help you!
Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab, Inc. has been servicing the Youngstown and Mahoning Valley area since 2001 with convenient locations in Boardman, Hubbard, and Kinsman. At Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab we are multi-disciplinary rehabilitation group that treats work comp injuries, whiplash, sports injuries and specializes in much more than just low back pain.