Cupping therapy is a form of soft tissue technique in which your physiotherapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. It helps in muscular pain, improves blood flow, and helps heal some muscle injuries with the help of deep-tissue massage.
The cups can be made of Glass or Silicone. Cupping is liked by lots of people as being very effective and they feel better with the release of tight muscles. The evidence of its effectiveness dates back to ancient Egyptians who used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
There are different methods of cupping, Dry or Wet. More popular these days in western countries is dry cupping with a handheld suction pump.
The suction pump draws air out and creates a suction inside the cup raising the skin. As there is increased blood flow due to this your skin will look bruised / reddened. The cup is generally left in place for up to 5 minutes.
Sometimes therapists use silicone cups, which they can move from place to place on your skin for a massage-like effect. Or they can do some soft tissue release while moving the muscle and placing the cup on the belly of the muscle being treated.
Some people also get “needle cupping,” in which the therapist first inserts acupuncture needles and then puts cups over them which could be effective in pain management.
Cupping is fairly safe, as long as you go to a trained health professional. But you could have these side effects in the area where the cups touch your skin like skin infection, bruises and can be harmful if the cups are not sterilized or clean between treatments.
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