Cupping is a safe, traditional treatment that helps resolve chronic muscle tightness and pain faster than massage therapy alone.
From Olympic athletes to pregnant pop stars, people are rediscovering the benefits of cupping.
Maybe you’ve even seen people at your gym or swimming pool with those tell-tale red circles on their backs and shoulders.
It’s becoming more common for people to request cupping to relieve chronic muscle soreness. But did you know that cupping can be used to treat many other complaints?
Cupping increases circulation
The suction from the cups increases circulation to the area where the cups are placed. The additional blood flow to that area can help relieve muscle tension and promote cell repair.
Increasing circulation with cupping also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Cupping encourages tissues to release toxins
Yes, you do have organs that remove toxins from your blood. But the modern lifestyle overloads your body with toxins. Cupping gives your body a boost in releasing those toxins.
Focused blood flow helps your body by flushing built-up toxins through the lymphatic system. (Your lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating your body’s toxins and waste.)
Cupping reduces stress and anxiety
When your therapist glides the cups across your skin, your parasympathetic nervous system engages.
This promotes deep relaxation to move through your entire body. (Your parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing your heart rate, assisting in digestion, and increasing intestinal and gland activity.
Cupping can reduce stretch marks and scars
Increased blood flow enables your body to dispose of toxins, restores lymphatic circulation, and helps remove edema (excess fluid), which helps reduce the appearance of scarring.
Studies have shown the positive effects of cupping on stretch marks and scars even in areas that are far from the area where the cups are applied.
Cupping can improve varicose veins and spider veins
Varicose veins look like bulging, bluish veins just under your skin, usually on your legs and feet.
They happen when the valves inside the vein aren’t working properly—the valves don’t effectively push the blood from the muscle back to the heart, so the blood congests, and the veins twist and bulge.
Cupping helps by bringing fresh blood flow and oxygen back to the problem areas.
You’ll notice your varicose veins appear lighter after your first session, though it will take a series of cupping sessions for lasting results. (Note: only dry, not wet, cupping is recommended for treating varicose veins.
Cupping can clear congestion and help treat asthma
Congestion (the buildup of fluid or phlegm in your lungs) caused by a cold, bronchitis or even asthma can be treated with cupping.
The suction from cups breaks up and expels congestion. It brings oxygen-rich blood and lymph toward your lungs and your other respiratory muscles.
Cups are usually placed on your back but may be placed on your chest as well.
Your therapist may leave the cups in place, or may gently glide them in an upward motion to facilitate the movement of the lymph fluid. Facial cupping can also be used to help unblock your sinuses.
Cupping can clear colon blockages and aid digestion
Cupping helps to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow to the digestive tract.
Gentle cupping over the abdomen also stimulates the insides of your digestive organs. It aids in peristalsis (contractions that push food through your digestive tract), helps clear colon blockages, encourages blood and body fluid to move through your organs, and helps relieve indigestion.