Cupping Therapy

What is Cupping Therapy?

The goal of cupping therapy is to release toxins from body tissues and organs. Therapists put special glass, bamboo, earthenware or silicone cups on the skin to create negative pressure forces and lift the tissues upward into the cup to increase blood flow beneath the affected area and stimulate the natural healing process. Cupping can be used over any region of the body as long as there is a seal between the skin and cup. Cupping is therefore more suited to larger areas of muscles such as arms, upper back, lower back, the abdomen, thigh and calf. The ensuing decompression is effective to release tight tissues and fascia, provide hydration, improve trigger points and blood flow which allows for temporary pain relief, engage the lymphatic system to release toxins and waste products from nearby tissues and organs.

Who can benefit from cupping therapy?

Cupping therapy is designed for both healthy and ailing patients! Cupping can be used following an injury, exercise or sporting event, for tight muscles, or for general well being. Benefits can also be seen in patients with asthma, diabetes, digestive issues such as irritable bowel disease (IBD), fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders, and certain infections. Finally, cupping can be used for:

Upper body

  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Numbing in the hands and nerve impingements
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Shoulder and elbow tendonitis

Lower body

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Hip tension and piriformis syndrome
  • IT band syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • Upper leg or knee pain

What are the benefits of cupping therapy?

Since cupping therapy reduces inflammation, increases circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage and increases blood flow to the affected area, it can also promote relaxation, decrease cortisol, provide pain relief and improve the general well being of our patients!

What can I expect from my cupping therapy session?

Fixed Cup Method

Your physiotherapist will use a rubber pump to create a suction with your cup on an affected area. Multiple cups will be used at the same time to cover a larger surface of your body. The skin will rise into the cup, the blood vessels beneath will expand which will create a massage effect, releasing toxins and promoting relaxation. Blood flow then brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscle to help recovery. Your practitioner will choose the cupping sites based on your area of pain. The cups will be left on your body for five to ten minutes at a time, then moved to another affected area as necessary. The marks left from the cups will disappear in a week, on average.

“Sliding” Myofascial Adaptation to Cupping Therapy

In sliding cupping, the trained practitioner applies oil to the skin to help slide the cup up and down the length of the affected muscle. Sliding cupping helps to relieve muscle tension by stretching and loosening the muscle and connective tissue, while increasing blood flow and draining the lymphatic vessels to bring nutrients and drain wastes from the area. This will feel similar to a deep tissue massage.  This technique has been found to be extremely useful in acute or chronic muscle tension, IT band syndrome, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis,

Which style is right for me?

Just like any treatment at our clinic, cupping therapy is geared towards you as an individual. Your practitioner will perform the cupping style that benefits you the most!