Alternative Recovery Therapies
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction.
People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
We've all seen the bruises. Those round purple circles littering the backs of elite swimmers. But Cupping is not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures.
In fact, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, The Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
What is it used for?
Cupping therapy supporters believe that cupping removes harmful substances and toxins from the body to promote healing.
In ancient times, it was used for lung conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia. But today the use of cupping is widely used for recovery, pain relief for injuries such as...
back and neck pain
skin diseases such as acne and hives
arthritis and joint inflammation
improving immune function.
strains and sprains
There are two types of cupping. Wet and Dry. It is thought that the suction created by the cup encourages blood flow—and this increased circulation may promote healing and reduce pain.
But does it work?
There has been some research that suggests cupping does have benefits when it comes to pain relief, but the studies are generally considered low quality. More studies are needed to conclusively understand the health impacts of the therapy.
For most patients, cupping is safe to try and could complement an existing treatment plan. Like all therapies, it's important to see a professional who has been trained and licensed appropriately. And before trying any new medical program, you should consult with your doctor.