Enhance your Wellness Journey with Cupping Therapy
At Megan Mullin Physical Therapy, we provide a range of services to help you improve your physical health and well-being. One of the techniques we use is cup therapy, which is becoming increasingly popular among our clients.
What is Suction Cup Therapy (Cupping)?
Cup therapy, also known as suction cup therapy, vacuum therapy, or Myofascial Decompression (MFD), is a novel approach to manual therapy and exercise. It combines negative pressure technology with evidence-based principles in movement science. Physical therapists use this treatment in orthopedics and sports medicine, and cupping can also help with overall wellness.
Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine that uses suction cups to stimulate blood flow and promote healing. The cups are typically made of glass, plastic, or silicone. The suction created by the cups pulls the skin and muscles upward, which helps to release tension and increase circulation. Cup therapy remains popular today, with new techniques and methods to maximize the benefits of this ancient healing practice. This pain-free treatment can help treat a variety of conditions.
Benefits of Cupping
Cup therapy can offer a range of benefits to those who receive it. Here are some of the most significant benefits:
- Pain relief
- Improved circulation
- Improved range of motion
Additionally, cupping can help stimulate the lymphatic system, which can help remove toxins from the body. This makes it beneficial for your overall wellness.
In physical therapy, cupping is primarily an orthopedics and sports injury treatment. It is often a good option for athletes, including cyclists, bodybuilders, surfers, runners, swimmers, climbers, golfers, and contact sport/throwing athletes. Cupping is excellent for treating:
- IT band syndrome
- Runner’s heel
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased range of motion and poor flexibility
- Scar tissue
- Carpal tunnel
- Trigger finger
- Total knee replacement
How Does Cupping Therapy Work?
During a cup therapy session, the therapist strategically places the cups on the client’s skin. They will often target areas with tension, pain, or congestion. Cup application may vary. One common method is to use a vacuum pump that draws the air out of the cup, creating a vacuum effect that suctions the skin into the cup. Alternatively, the traditional method is heating the inside of the cup before it’s applied to the skin. As the air inside cools, it creates a vacuum effect that suctions in the skin.
How long the cups stay in place depends on the individual’s condition and response to treatment. The typical duration ranges from 5 to 15 minutes. As the cups remain in position, they gently draw the skin and upper muscle layers upwards, promoting blood flow to the area. This increased blood flow reduces inflammation and encourages the body’s natural healing.
After removing the cups, your therapist may use massage techniques to enhance the treatment’s effects further. By combining cupping with massage, therapists can help relax muscle tension and improve drainage. As a result, this dual approach can boost the overall therapeutic outcome of the session.
What to Expect After Cup Therapy
Individual experiences with cup therapy can vary. Some clients report immediate relief from muscle pain, improved range of motion, and a sense of relaxation. However, others may experience temporary skin discoloration or mild discomfort, which is often due to the increased blood flow and release of fluids trapped within the muscle tissue. Overall, these effects tend to fade within a few days, leaving behind a sense of improved well-being.
Since cupping breaks tiny capillaries in your skin, you will have round red marks where the cups were placed. They may look similar to bruises. Any redness or marks will fade within a week or two.
Is Cupping Right for Me?
If you’re intrigued by the potential benefits of cup therapy, consult with our professional physical therapists. A personalized consultation will allow the therapist to assess your unique health needs and tailor a treatment plan that aligns with your goals. Whether you’re seeking pain relief, enhanced circulation, or overall stress reduction, cup therapy could be a valuable addition to your wellness journey, guided by experienced practitioners dedicated to improving your health and quality of life.
Take the Next Step
Interested in cupping therapy? We work closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that incorporates manual therapy techniques, as well as other forms of physical therapy and exercise. Our goal is to help our patients achieve optimal physical health and wellness, so they can live their best possible lives. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience the benefits for yourself.