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HEALTH BLOG

MCR Chiropractic

Cupping Therapy: Ancient Healing Meets Modern Care

Chiropractors have many tools and services that they incorporate into their patient’s care to help them overcome pain and restore function. Many of the techniques chiropractors use are related to the most recent updates in the medical industry to promote realigning the joints and strengthening. However, some services they use, like cupping, have deep roots in eastern medicine.

What is Cupping?

According to WebMD, cupping therapy goes back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. In fact, one of the oldest known medical textbooks described cupping therapy in 1550 B.C. Chinese medicine has been using it for thousands of years to treat pain, muscle stiffness, and even some respiratory issues.

Cupping therapy is a treatment modality that chiropractors use for treating painful musculoskeletal conditions.  Cupping utilizes specialized cups, with a small pump, to create suction between the cup and the patient’s skin. As the suction/vacuum effect pulls gently on the skin as the internal pressure of the cup draws fluid to the area and promotes healing.

What are the Benefits of Cupping?

When included in a chiropractic plan of care and performed by a trained chiropractor, some of the common benefits of cupping include:

  • Improved metabolism and healing
  • Increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage
  • Stimulation of sensory nerves
  • Short-term reduction in pain and inflammation
  • Improved mobility of myofascial (connective) tissue

Cupping is a drug-free way to reduce pain and promote healing. Here is a list of some common conditions that cupping can treat:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Knee pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain

How is Cupping Performed?

Chiropractors may sometimes use cupping as a technique of tissue distraction release. The cups are glided across different areas to lift and separate tissue. It enhances the release of the interfaces between the neural tissues, fascia, skin, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some patients with myofascial pain report resolution of pain after just one session. There is also some evidence to suggest that cupping techniques are effective for chronic and fibromyalgia.

There is real science behind this type of therapy. By creating suction with negative pressure, cupping can increase hydration and blood to body tissues, ease up adhesions, rid excess fluids and eliminate connective tissues. Cupping is a versatile treatment and can be modified from deep tissue release to lymphatic drainage.  It has also been shown to relax muscles, release trigger points, improve lymphatic flow, increase local circulation, and release scar tissue adhesion.

FAQs about Cupping

What does it feel like? 

You will feel moderate pressure at the cup location, but this should not be unbearable. Your chiropractor can make adjustments to the pressure, so you should let them know how it feels. Once the pressure has been released the cup can be removed.

What should I expect during cupping therapy?

Depending on the goal of cupping therapy, your chiropractor may leave the cup in place for 5-10 minutes or move the cup across your skin for a massage-like effect.

How will I feel after cupping is performed?

Most people will see distinct circular rings of redness, where the cups were placed. This discoloration is typically not painful and should go away within a few days to a week.

Does cupping alone help?

Best clinical outcomes are found when cupping is used in conjunction with other chiropractic interventions, such as chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercises for strengthening and flexibility.

Learn More About Cupping

If you are dealing with pain or injury, your chiropractor may recommend cupping as a part of your plan of care. To see if cupping is available at your nearest MCR Chiropractic location, give us a call! Or request an appointment below!

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