Cupping is an ancient practice that has been seeing a resurgence in popularity in modern times, and for a good reason! Cupping can be useful for a variety of things like improving blood flow, reducing pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting relaxation.
Cupping therapy works through suction. The therapist places “cups,” often made of glass, silicone, or biodegradable materials on various points along the body. The cups are warmed before being placed on the skin, and as the air inside begins to cool, a vacuum effect occurs, which is what provides the suction. Some modern practitioners opt to use rubber cups and pumps to create suction instead of relying on heat. This has the added advantage of being able to have more control over the level of suction.
When the suction begins, the skin begins to rise and will take on a red appearance. The marks left behind cause concern for some people and sometimes ignite fears that deter people from receiving cupping treatments – but it is generally a painless experience.
There are Two Main Types of Cupping
There is wet Cupping and dry Cupping. It is generally recommended that beginners start with dry Cupping to get a feel for the experience before moving on to wet Cupping. With wet Cupping, small incisions are made after the cups are removed, and then the cups are put back on over the incisions for a few more minutes to draw out blood.
Dry Cupping does not draw any blood or involve incisions and is powerful enough on its own to provide relief for most people who give it a go.
When to Consider Cupping
- If you are seeking relief from chronic migraines
- If you have stubborn back or neck pain
- If you’re seeking an alternative treatment to boost mood
- If you’re struggling to cope with inflammatory conditions
Ensure that You’re Working With an Experienced Professional
This is particularly important if you’re opting for a wet cupping treatment. If you choose to work with a practitioner that is not adequately experienced, you run the risk of having your session in a non-sterile environment and could become infected.