Cupping is an ancient alternative form of medicine that functions to stimulate and promote the free flow of qi (energy) and blood in the body. Silicone cups are placed on the patient’s skin to create a vacuum, drawing fresh oxygen rich blood to the affected area(s). Through the creation of negative pressure, cupping is used to drain excess fluids and toxins, promote circulation, reduce muscle tension, bring blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles, lift connective tissue, and stimulate the peripheral nervous system. Indications include but are not limited to, the common cold, asthma, headache, dizziness, muscle tension and fatigue.
The cups either rest in place for 1-5 minutes and/or comfortably glide across the skin in a massaging motion. Most patients find the experience pleasant, though they may be left with localized discoloration which fades within a week or less. However, cupping doesn’t always leave a mark which diagnostically supports that there is no stagnation in that area of the muscle or tissue.
Depending on the ailment, cupping is recommended 1-2x/wk.