Cupping is a therapy that is used often in our clinic. Dr. Jo and I learned about cupping when we were taking our acupuncture education. It is an ancient Chinese therapy that has been around for thousands of years.
Cupping involves placing specifically designed cups on bare skin and creating a suction. The suction created by the cups causes the blood vessels to expand. The cups can be placed in one spot, or the practitioner can slide the cup along the skin, called “gliding cupping.”
The suction allows the top tissue layer to be drawn into the cup. We like to think of it as the opposite of massage therapy: instead of applying pressure to the muscles and tissues, it pulls them outward.
The main way that cupping helps ease symptoms is through increasing circulation to the affected area. By having your skin stretched into the cup, your body increases blood flow to the treated area. This helps to flush stagnant toxins and increase immune cells. This also helps with cell repair and helps new soft tissue to form. Cupping can also reduce inflammation, which reduces the healing time of aches and pains.
With the increased blood flow, cupping flushes out toxins stored in the body and removes excess fluid. This can help to decrease scars and adhesions in the tissues.
Cupping can be used for tight/sore muscles, but it can also be effective in helping with relaxation and even colds/coughs. Cupping stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the “rest and digest” nervous system), which in turn relaxes the mind and body. When the cups are placed outside of the lung fields they “pull the heat” out of the lungs, which helps to decrease congestion and relieve coughs.
At Live Well, we pride ourselves on offering a much different chiropractic experience than you’ll find anywhere else. At the beginning of every appointment, no matter the reason for your visit, you’ll receive complimentary muscle work and soft tissue mobilization (such as cupping) to loosen up your body and help prepare it for treatment. This work also increases blood flow to the areas of need which helps promote healing. Click the link above to learn more, or contact us to schedule your free consultation today.