Cupping is an adjunctive technique used in acupuncture treatments. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Cupping has roots in the Middle East, Asia, Northern & Eastern Europe and North American traditional peoples. Needless to say, it has been around for a while. Cups can be made from glass, bamboo, animal horns and shells, and nowadays even plastic!
There are many different ways to cup, the most common ways are Fire Cupping and Suction Cupping. For Fire cupping, cups are applied to the skin using a flame to create a vacuum. We often describe it as a reverse massage. Instead of applying pressure, the skin is gently drawn upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup over the affected area. The cups stay in place for around 5-15 minutes and are not painful or uncomfortable. In fact, people often love the feeling of cups, comparing it to a nice deep massage.
Suction cupping is almost the same, however, no flame is used. The cups are made to suction once place on the skin. There is no benefit to using one method over the other.
Cupping therapy can be used to treat all sorts of ailments and aches. It is very well known for the treatment of pain, deep scar tissue in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, swelling, and tension. It does so by resetting the fascia that lies under the muscle and keeping the shape of the muscle. Tension and stagnation can alter the tone of the muscle and fascia and create “knots” and trigger points. Cupping helps disperse this stagnation.
What some people might not know about cupping therapy is that it is a great way to help stimulate detoxification, loosen phlegm in the lungs, and improve overall circulation. The cupping action draws toxins to the surface of the skin where the immune system is better able to eliminate them.
Cupping can sometimes result in temporary discoloration of the skin called petechiae. These marks are associated with improved blood flow to the area and naturally, dissipate within a few days. They tend to look like small circular bruises, and often cause more alarm than is necessary. While a bruise may hurt, cupping marks do not.
Visit Our Clinic
If you’re near the New York City area, come in for an acupuncture treatment and try our cupping therapy at any of our three locations! Our NYC based cupping therapy has been featured in various news outlets including Good Morning America, as our practice has been receiving notoriety & praise over the last few years.