Cupping Therapy Overview

Cupping therapy is one of the oldest and most effective methods of releasing toxins from the body’s tissue and organs. Cupping therapy is an alternative therapy in which cups are applied to the body surface; by reducing the pressure inside the cup, vacuum suction or negative pressure is created. This causes the tissue underneath the cup to be drawn up and swell, increasing blood flow to the affected area. This enhanced blood flow under the cup draws congestion, injury, impurities, and toxins away from the nearby tissues and organs towards the surface for elimination. This action stimulates white blood cells, pain relief receptors and localized healing takes place. It differs from massage, which pushes into the body. The principle of cupping is to draw outwards with reverse suction. 

Vacuum Suction or Negative Pressure

Vacuum suction or negative pressure is created when the air is removed from a cup by manually squeezing, pumping, or removing oxygen with heat. The material of cups varies from plastic, silicone, glass, and bamboo to even animal horns and shells. The negative pressure forces molecules, cells and tissue into movement towards the source of the cup’s suction. When the pressure in the cup is released, the body surface returns to its original state. The vacuum suction may leave marks or discoloration on the skin indicating that stagnation or toxins has been removed from the deeper tissue layers.

Decompression Technique

Cupping therapy uses a decompression technique which lifts and separates the contracted fascia and underlying tissue out and away from the body. The pulling force, rather than a pushing force, on the muscles is effective with soft tissue injury, whether chronic or acute, which can cause discordant superficial fascia that restricts movement, causes pain and inhibits the flow of blood and body fluids. The separation that the massage cupping vacuum produces in tissue layers enables water absorption and renewed blood flow to undernourished and dehydrated tissue.

Positive Effects of Cupping Therapy

  1. Mobilizing the tissues with parked or gliding cups allows for increased circulation of blood, lymph, and body fluids. 
  2. Alleviates pain and disperses trigger points with decompression, which increases endorphins, the body’s natural pain-reliever. 
  3. Gliding cupping techniques may loosen adhesions and reduce the appearance of scar tissue with cross fiber technique. 
  4. Increase in blood circulation - An increase in blood circulation accelerates the metabolic rate triggering a chain of activity among cells, tissue channels, and organs. The healthy circulation restores the affected area, creating space for oxygen, living cells, fresh blood, lymph, and nutrients for faster recovery. Fresh blood and fluids can then flow throughout the muscle fibers and between the interstitial tissues which repairs and remodels the tissue, cells, formation of connective tissues and blood vessels. 
  5. The fascial network is re-hydrated and becomes more pliable, alleviating tight muscles while promoting synovial fluid flow. 
  6. Cupping promotes collagen and elastin, which improves elasticity and firmness of the skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite.