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What are the benefits of cupping therapy?

Cupping therapy is a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves placing special cups on the skin in a vacuum effect. The cups can be made of various materials, including glass, bamboo, silicone or plastic. 

Here at PRICC, we use plastic cups in a variety of areas on the body, larger cups for larger areas, such as on the back and smaller cups for smaller areas, such as on the neck. Primarily people might select cupping for pain relief but it can also be used for general relaxation, to improve blood circulation, for coughs and colds and other various conditions that you can discuss with your practitioner.

Different types of cupping techniques are: dry, wet (hijama) and fire cupping. Dry cupping is the traditional method that we use at PRICC, where suction is created which in turns draws the blood through the muscle and fascia and promotes circulation.

The suction by the cup causes the skin and superficial muscle tissues to be lifted and drawn into the cup. The cups are typically left in place for a short period of time or even moved up and down the back or area of concern to create the same sensation as a strong massage.

After the cups are removed, it is normal to see distinctive round marks on the skin, which are a common and temporary side effect and most importantly not painful at all. These marks may vary in colour from light pink to dark purple and generally fade over a few days. Some say that the darker the color of the circles left behind, the deeper the stagnation in your body. 

In our experience, patients often request this type of therapy to help with relaxation or a specific musculoskeletal issue. Most people are often surprised after their first experience of cupping at how relaxing they found it and how much it can help with recovery.

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