Cupping is an ancient healing therapy that’s been used for thousands of years and originated from Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine. A provider places cups on the area of complaint and can either leave them in place for a certain time period or move them around the body region. Inside the cup, a vacuum or suction force pulls the skin upward. This helps to increase blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.

Cupping is thought to alleviate symptoms by promoting peripheral (close to the skin) blood circulation and improving immunity. According to a 2018 review of studies, the effects of cupping therapy include:

effects of cupping

Promoting the skin’s blood flow

Increasing pain thresholds

Reducing inflammation

Changing the skin’s biomechanical properties

Boosting cellular immunity

Improving local anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism

How does cupping work?

Suction from cupping draws fluid into the treated area. This suction force expands and breaks open tiny blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin. Your body treats the cupping area like an injury. It sends more blood to the area to stimulate the natural healing process. Some people theorize that cupping clears the pores and releases toxins.

What should I expect after cupping?

The suction from the cups leaves bruises on the treated body region that lasts about 1-2 weeks. You should expect to feel less tension in the area, along with more range of motion.

How does cupping work?

Suction from cupping draws fluid into the treated area. This suction force expands and breaks open tiny blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin. Your body treats the cupping area like an injury. It sends more blood to the area to stimulate the natural healing process. Some people theorize that cupping clears the pores and releases toxins.

What should I expect after cupping?

The suction from the cups leaves bruises on the treated body region that lasts about 1-2 weeks. You should expect to feel less tension in the area, along with more range of motion.

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