Massage Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy began as an ancient healing modality in China. It was so effective for treating pain that radiates just below the skin’s surface that it’s been copied and modernized for centuries.
Suction cup therapy loosens up your energy and affects your soft tissue, providing results that are hard to dismiss. Whether you want cupping treatment for pain relief, to help you lose weight or just to relax, your physical therapists at TRI Physical Therapy is fully trained in cupping physical therapy.
The technique involves applying inverted cups to your skin to create a suction to draw toxins out of your body.
Also called myofascial decompression, this ancient Chinese cupping therapy practice, when performed by a trained physical therapist, is typically done to reduce pain, improve blood flow and induce relaxation.
The cups that are used in cupping therapy are usually made of glass, silicone or plastic. Your New York City physical therapist may recommend cupping as part of your treatment plan to loosen tight muscles or to relieve pain. Suction cup therapy may be part of your treatment for everything from work-related injuries and sports injuriesto relieving stress and associated weight gain.
Types of Cupping Therapy
Over the past several hundred years, cupping physical therapy (PT) has been used in many cultures and done using different approaches, most often as either wet cupping or dry cupping. In both of these types of treatments, multiple cups are placed on your skin and the air inside the cup is removed to create a suctioning effect.
In wet cupping, superficial skin incisions are made after the cups are removed and a small amount of blood is suctioned out. This may help reduce the amount of toxins in your body. In dry cupping, the cup is applied to the skin and creates a vacuum which causes your skin to rise as blood vessels expand, but no bleeding is induced in this type of cupping.
How Cupping Therapy Is Accomplished
Cupping may be done by placing a flammable substance such as alcohol or herbs inside the cup and lighting it on fire. The heated cup is placed on your skin. As the air inside the cup cools, your skin and other tissues are drawn into the cup.
Modern cupping is usually done by using a rubber pump to create the vacuum effect inside the cup instead of fire. During cupping therapy, the cups are left in place for about five to 10 minutes. Your physical therapist removes the cups after the treatment time has passed. He may cover the area with bandages or ointment. There may be some bruising, which goes away in seven to 10 days.
Conditions That Benefit from Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy has been found to benefit people who suffer from chronic soft tissue injury or inflammation, such as myofascial pain syndrome. Your NYC physical therapist may also recommend cupping for a variety of other conditions including:
- Lower back
- Chronic headaches
- Chronic cough
- Cupping for weight loss
- Boosting a sluggish metabolism
Cupping Therapy and Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Cupping therapy is especially effective in helping to relieve the intense discomfort of myofascial pain syndrome, a painful condition that affects the connective tissue that covers your muscles.
This tissue is called fascia. If you have myofascial pain syndrome, you may have knots in your muscles known as trigger points. These areas are extremely tender and may cause pain in other areas of your body. You may also have muscles that are stiff, weak or have a limited range of motion.
Your physical therapist may recommend myofascial decompression if you have this condition. This form of treatment can alter blood flow and draw toxins out of inflamed muscles. Cupping can also release trigger points, helping your painful muscles to relax, relieving your discomfort.
Side Effects of Cupping Therapy
There is a slight possibility that you may experience a few minor side effects from having cupping therapy done. These include minor burns, skin irritation and bruising, but these side effects clear up within a few days.
Your physical therapist can address your concerns about and work to minimize your risks of developing these side effects.
Your NYC physical therapist has been thoroughly trained in cupping therapy. This practice has been done for thousands of years. It’s a safe, highly effective form of treatment as long as it’s done by an experienced and highly trained practitioner such as your physical therapist at TRI PT.