What is Suction Cupping?

Suction Cupping Explained
Suction Cupping involves creating a vacuum over various parts of the body for therapeutic effects. The original classic method of cupping involved briefly heating the air in an inverted cup, which then produces a vacuum when the air cools after the cup is applied to the skin. suction cupping as pain relief treatment - alternative method

The resultant low pressure under the cup causes a localized expansion of tissue.

Suction Cupping is used therapeutically to draw blood flow to areas of pain, thus flushing capillary beds and re-supplying vital nutrients. Suction also mobilizes and stretches soft tissue thus loosening areas of restriction. Suction cups are usually placed over disease/injury sites for 5 – 10 minutes.

Applying an oil based lubricant to the skin just prior to cup application facilitates a tight seal, and allows for sliding cups around in the treatment area. Cups of all sizes are used to treat a wide range of disorders. For example, small cups may be applied to the face to treat facial paralysis, whereas larger cups placed in the lumbar region can be used to treat lumbago.

Dry Cupping and Wet Cupping
There are two main types of cupping: dry cupping and wet cupping. Dry cupping involves stimulation of the skin by suction. Wet cupping includes blood-letting, achieved by puncturing the skin with tiny needles before the cups are applied.

Wet cupping has a stronger stimulatory action on the skin, muscles and corresponding organs. dry and wet cupping method - 2 different alternative treatment

This type of cupping is usually used for areas of congestion to reduce inflammation, pain, and cramping. Wet cupping is helpful for patients with a tendency for high blood pressure and weight gain. Patients suffering from anemia would benefit more with dry cupping.

How does Suction Cupping work?

Suction cupping should always be performed by a qualified health care professional. Cupping is almost solely practiced on the back, often on either side of the spine, though cups can be used on the abdomen and upper arms and legs.

Cups are available with elastic knobs that provide a sucking action when pumped. When placed on the skin, the cups can be pumped until the skin has reached the desired height inside the glass. A more traditional method uses plain glass cups where a small flame creates a vacuum inside the glass which sucks the skin into the glass. Both of these techniques are very popular today.

In either method, several cups are applied one after another and then left on the skin for ten to thirty minutes. This stimulation increases circulation and in response, the skin discolors and bruising occurs. This bruising doesn’t last long unless the person bruises easily. Cupping may feel uncomfortable but it is not painful.

A cupping-massage technique can be achieved using a suction cup with the pump and gliding it slowly along the skin. Before the massage, a massage oil is applied to ease the gliding of the cup along the skin. Cupping-massage is useful for relief of muscle spasms and pain. This type of technique is more painful so the massage should only take three or four minutes after which the patient should rest for fifteen minutes. Again, temporary skin discoloration and bruising typically occurs where the massage took place.

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