What is cupping and how can it help me?

By: Kevin Tangeros, L.Ac., MSOM

You’ve probably heard about cupping before or maybe even seen those strange circular marks on someone’s back. But did you know that this ancient therapy can have a positive profound effect on your body and make you feel better in many ways?

Cupping therapy or “myofascial decompression” is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that dates back thousands of years and is still used to this day for good reason. Cupping is commonly used by acupuncturists for a variety of reasons, such as back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, digestive issues, and fatigue. Specialized cups are placed on the body that create suction. This suction lifts the skin, moves lymphatic flow, relaxes tight muscles and fascia, as well as improving blood flow.

So what are the circular marks left on the body and how long will they stay there? The marks are just signs of old, stagnated blood being brought to the surface, so that new blood can be regenerated to that area and healing can occur. They are not painful and will go away within a week depending on how much water you drink. After a cupping treatment, many people experience relaxation, decrease in pain, improved range of motion, and a greater overall sense of well-being. Ask your acupuncturist if cupping might be suitable for you!

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