Make an Appointment: (424) 466-8966

An Examination of the Healing Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy
Table of Contents

There are many healing modalities that have been known to many civilizations throughout history that the West has only recently started to rediscover. From yoga to acupuncture to simple breathwork, there are many ways to stimulate natural healing that do not require medicine or invasive methods. One of those modalities is cupping – in this article, we will discuss the benefits of cupping and how this type of therapy can be used.

So let us start with the foundation.

What Is Cupping Therapy?

In its basic form, cupping therapy is a practice that involves placing cups on the skin to create a vacuum or suction effect. Traditionally, the vacuum is achieved by placing a flammable substance within the cup, typically cotton balls soaked with alcohol or herbs, and setting it on fire. 

The fire sucks the oxygen out of the cup and after the fire is out, the cup is placed upside down on specific points on your body, creating a vacuum. Modern cupping techniques do not involve fire, but the use of a suction device that removes air from the cup. In both instances, this suction relieves pressure that has accumulated within the skin, muscles, or connective tissue. 

How Long Has Cupping Been Practiced?

The benefits of cupping have been known since the 6th millennium BCE and this ancient therapy has been used for thousands of years in many cultures, including China, Egypt, Greece, and the Middle East. 

Although historically it has been used across the world, nowadays, cupping therapy is primarily a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice used to treat a variety of conditions, such as pain, inflammation, and muscle tension. It is also used to promote relaxation and improve overall well-being. 

Depending on the condition, cupping can be used as the primary therapy or as a complementary treatment to help mitigate symptoms of various conditions.  All of that being said, cupping is much more complex than just creating suction with cups – there are several types of cupping therapy, each with distinctive characteristics.  

The Types: Dry, Wet, and Running Cupping

The three primary types of cupping are dry, wet, and running cupping. In dry cupping, the cups are placed on the skin and left in place for a few minutes. Typically, three, five, or seven cups are used during a single treatment. 

In wet cupping, the cups are also left in place for a few minutes before they are removed, however, a small incision is made on the skin to let out a small amount of blood before the cups are put in place. The blood that is drained through the incision helps release toxins from your body.

Running cupping is similar to dry cupping as it is a non-invasive treatment – no incision is made and no blood is drawn. The difference is that lotion or oil is applied to your skin before the cups are placed and the cups are slowly moved around during the treatment. 

What Does Cupping Therapy Do?

A person getting cupping treatment to experience the benefits of cupping.

The ways in which cupping affects the body are complex – it can promote peripheral blood flow to the affected areas, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, and improve the local anaerobic metabolism.  In practical terms, one of the main benefits of cupping therapy is that it can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Cupping for back pain has become one of the more popular alternative therapies for dealing with chronic pain. 

Then, the suction created by the cups can increase blood flow, which, in turn, can stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. Cupping therapy can also be used as a complementary therapy for headaches, migraines, and respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Another benefit of cupping is that it can help improve circulation and promote relaxation. 

Again, the suction created by the cups can help improve blood flow to the muscles, which can help reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility. There have also been indications that cupping therapy can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne and eczema. People who may benefit from cupping therapy include those who suffer from chronic pain, muscle tension, headaches, migraines, and respiratory and skin conditions. 

In recent years, cupping has become popular among athletes (other individuals who engage in strenuous physical activity) as a method to reduce muscle soreness, enhance circulation, and improve overall physical performance. Cupping therapy may also be beneficial for individuals who experience high levels of stress and anxiety, as it can help promote relaxation and reduce tension in the body. 

However, it is important to stress that cupping therapy should be performed by a trained professional and that any health conditions or medications should be discussed with the therapist before beginning treatment.

Experience the Benefits of Cupping Therapy

To sum it up, the main benefits of cupping therapy include pain relief, reduced inflammation, relaxation and reduced muscle tension, improved skin health and respiratory function, reduced stress and anxiety, and faster recovery from injuries – all of this can be achieved when the treatment is performed by a trained professional.

This is what we offer at BH Acuhealth Clinic. At our clinic, Dr. Mitra Daneshrad provides alternative medicine treatments, including acupuncture and cupping physical therapy. Before we start with therapy, each of our patients has an individual treatment plan created according to their needs. That also includes consultation and coordination with other healthcare providers when necessary.

Make an appointment and let us discuss what benefits of cupping you can expect to experience with Dr. Mitra’s treatments. Dr. Mitra Daneshrad


Make an Appointment: (424) 466-8966