Cupping therapy is an ancient form of Alternative Medicine in which a therapist puts special cups (usually glass or plastic) on your skin for a few minutes to create suction.
Some of the many benefits of cupping are:
• pain relief
• reduction of inflammation in the body
• a form of deep tissue massage
Though cupping therapy has recently become a trend (think: swimmer Michael Phelps), it is definitely not new! Cupping dates back to ancient egypt, middle east, and chinese cultures. Many believe cupping helps balance your body’s yin & yang. Restoring the balance between these two extremes is thought to help your body fight against pathogens as well as it’s ability to increase blood flow & reduce pain. You can also use cupping in conjunction with acupuncture to compliment your care for a host of issues and conditions.
During your first acupuncture+cupping session you may get 3-5 cups placed on your back, or you may just try one to see how you feel. Its fairly rare to get more than 5-8 cups placed. The cups will be placed on your skin and suctioned to create a vacuum that will draw your muscles and skin upwards into the cup. Your skin will probably turn red as the blood vessels in your skin respond to the change in pressure( dont worry, though cupping leaves a mark, it does not hurt!)
The practitioner will then leave the cups on your skin for 10-15 minutes max. Cupping therapy is often done along with acupuncture treatments.
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• Wikipedia – Cupping Therapy
• Men’s Health – What Is Cupping Therapy?
• Sports Illustrated – Why Michael Phelps, other Olympic athletes use cupping therapy for recovery
• USA Today – Cupping: Why Michael Phelps was covered in red dots
• Time Magazine – Why Michael Phelps Is Gaga for Cupping