What is Cupping Therapy and Can It Help You?

Cupping Therapy may have become more popular during the 2016 Olympics when the world watched Michael Phelps win multiple gold medals while having purple circles on his back and shoulders. However, Cupping Therapy has been around for centuries dating back to 1,550 BC.


Cupping Therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine that has roots starting in China. The therapy consists of placing cups on the surface of your skin while using heat or a suction tool to remove the oxygen from under the cup. This creates a vacuum effect pulling your skin and fascia (layer of tissue just beneath the skin) away from the muscle. It is believed to increase blood flow and allow the “bad”/stagnate blood to move. This draws blood to the affected area and is thought to reduce soreness, and increase healing of chronic, overworked muscles. It is also believed to break up adhesions in the fascial layer and allow for better mobility throughout that area. The suction effect of Cupping Therapy dilates and ruptures capillaries just beneath the skin, which causes the dark-colored circular spots that last for a few days.


Cupping Therapy has been used to treat many different ailments on all different types of people from professional athletes to the general population. Some of these ailments include:


More research needs to be conducted on this topic, however, the research noted above does show beneficial effects. Many practitioners and patients have reported clinical benefits as well.


Therefore, if you are dealing with any of the above ailments, cupping therapy may be a treatment to try as an adjunct therapy.


Cupping Therapy should be performed by a medical provider and should be utilized as part of your treatment plan. Cupping Therapy is not a cure by itself and works best in conjunction with physical therapy and exercise. It is an additional tool to help alleviate pain and increase mobility.


You can find a physical therapy clinic in your area and book a physical therapy appointment via the BetterPT app or BetterPT website. Through direct access you no longer need to obtain a prescription from your medical doctor and can, therefore, have access to physical therapy quicker and sooner. Don’t let those aches and pains continue to bother you, get BETTER soon!

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