What is Cupping Therapy? Benefits and Side Effects
Cupping is an ancient healing therapy. It involves placing round cups directly on the skin for a few minutes to create a suction. The cups are first heated with fire. In some cases, they are manually pumped to create a suction. These cups are made of silicone, bamboo, glass, or earthenware.
Cupping has been practiced in the Far East for at least 2,000 years. Acupuncturists in Santa Rosa use cupping therapy to treat several conditions, including back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, menstrual period cramping, infertility, acne, indigestion, high blood pressure, and knee pain. It can also relieve the pain and inflammation associated with fibromyalgia and arthritis.
How Does it Work?
Many acupuncturists believe that cups placed on the skin create a suction force that breaks open tiny blood vessels.
The body treats the suction area as an injury and sends more blood and nutrients to it to help with healing. Other experts are of the opinion that cupping releases toxins from tissues and organs.
Acupuncturists use two types of cupping methods: dry cupping and wet cupping. During a dry cupping session, the therapist first soaks a cotton ball in an alcohol-based solution and sets it aflame. The cotton ball is used to heat the inside of the cups.
The heat removes the oxygen inside the cups, creating a vacuum. Some acupuncturists use a suction pump to remove the air inside a cup. Once the cups are placed on the skin, the suction force pulls it up.
In wet cupping, a needle is used to create small punctures on different points in the skin before the session. Toxins are flushed out of the body through these small punctures.
What Does the Research Say?
There have been studies that prove that cupping alleviated pain. A 2012 report published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that when used in conjunction with other treatment methods including acupuncture, cupping therapy can relieve symptoms associated with facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, and herpes zoster.
At Acupuncture Mama, we offer cupping as one of our treatments to promote healing and relive pain for our clients in the Santa Rosa area.
When performed by a trained therapist, cupping is 100% safe. Skin discolorations from cupping usually fades after a few hours. In rare cases, people have reported experiencing headaches, fatigue, scarring, and skin infection.