Cupping is a technique used for many reasons in injury prevention, blood flow/circulation, treatment, and recovery. It is an ancient technique (Chinese, Egyptian) that therapists have been performing for decades in the US, recently which has gained popularity due to the summer Olympics.

Fire cupping traditionally was performed, where hot air inside the cup cooled and created suction to the skin. Due to many reasons of safety, risk, and often office rules, most cupping is done these days with manual suction instruments that create essentially the same effect.

How is it done?
  • Area of pain, inflammation, or lack of blood flow needing circulation is identified by the therapist by hand
  • A cup (size dependent) is placed either directly over the area, or around the area purposely, to bring local blood flow and vessel dilation by using the suction tool to pull the skin up within the cup
  • The cup is left on for between 1-3 minutes, or the therapist may drag the cup across an area, or twist the cup, to help to achieve circulation influence or fascial release
  • local skin tenderness
  • red skin
  • slight elevation (short term) of skin
  • tension in the skin (shot term)
  • pain relief
  • local blood flow
  • inflammation control
  • increase in lymphatics
  • increased speed of healing due to increased local blood flow and circulation
  • muscle relaxation

Much of the research done has been scattered between traditional Eastern medicine performance of cupping and 20th century Western medicine application. Across the board, it is difficult to control subjects so that cupping is the only method used to treat, therefore ruling out other methods of treatment that may be influencing progress or contributing to a lack of progress. Ancillary research throughout history shows the vast benefits of increasing local blood flow, relaxing muscles, helping to flush toxins and heat as ways to treat pain, tension, and inflammation.

Cupping is a wonderful addition to the "treatment bucket" of options that your therapist can provide. Stand-alone, no treatment is 100% effective. It is always per patient, per diagnosis, and per situation. The more tools we have, the better we can help you! Ask you therapist about treatment today!

Location(s): Burr Ridge, Naperville