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What is Cupping and Is It Right for Me? 

woman receiving cupping therapy on back

For thousands of years, people have been using cupping to ease headaches, neck pain, back pain, and other problems. Cupping is a relaxing and relieving therapy that uses suction cups placed directly on the skin, and then manually pumped to create a suction. The cups are left for several minutes, during which the suction in the cups gently separates muscle from the surrounding connective tissue to improve blood and lymph flow. This process stimulates the body’s natural healing process and helps restore balance. 

Cupping can have benefits for just about anyone who uses it. It can treat physical and emotional issues and can be used for chronic problems such as rheumatism, inflammation, asthma, hypertension, irritable bowel disease, digestive issues, headaches, acne, chronic constipation, and more. In addition to its use in healing various health conditions, cupping is a modality that is widely utilized in sports medicine and has been used to improve athletic performance, as well as prevent and heal musculoskeletal pain and injuries.

Our bodies already have organs that deal with and remove toxins, but in today’s modern world we sometimes overwork our body’s natural systems. Toxins can build up in the body from stress, poor diet, or being exposed to pollutants like cars, chemicals, and heavy metals. When the body is overloaded with toxins, it can damage your enzymes and lead to a lack of energy, and lower your body’s ability to protect against oxidative stress. 

With cupping, skin, muscle, and other soft tissues are pulled due to suction which naturally increases the blood circulation to the treated area. This increased blood flow helps flush out any toxins in the blood as well as attract immune cells to the area. The blood now contains increased oxygen which can then assist with cell repair and forming new connective tissues. Focusing the blood flow to specific areas helps your body’s lymphatic system clear built-up toxins. The increased blood flow also aids in relieving the body of inflammation, which helps with managing pain, as well as lessening the time needed for the body to repair itself. [The medical perspective of cupping therapy: Effects and mechanisms of action]

This process is may cause some discomfort, but should not be a painful experience. Many patients equate the experience to being similar to the sensation of a deep tissue massage. The sensations you experience are going to be dependent on several factors, such as your condition, the area of treatment, and your goals for your session. 

At our office, each patient is assessed as an individual, and treatment plans are given based on what is going to provide you with the best outcomes for optimizing your health and wellness. Dr. Bland will give recommendations for the best way to reach your health and fitness goals. This may include follow-up cupping sessions, home stretches, dietary modifications, herbal supplements, or other integrative health and wellness treatments, like chiropractic or applied kinesiology. Together, these treatments work to retrain your body’s natural ability to heal, and though most patients begin to feel improvement after their first visit, some may take two or three sessions before they begin experiencing real change. 

If you’re experiencing pain or other chronic conditions and want to find out if cupping is right for you, give us a call at 253-302-3131 or visit our website to schedule an appointment today. 

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