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Cupping is an ancient oriental practice first recorded during the Han dynasty in China. This 2,000 year-old therapy has gradually been moving into chiropractic practice and may be helpful in breaking up muscle adhesions. Here’s what you need to know about cupping, courtesy of Spring Chiropractic, your chiropractor in Spring, Texas.

Cupping: The Basics

The basic method of cupping is to remove oxygen from small glass cups shaped like fishbowls. Removing the oxygen creates a vacuum effect that makes the cup adhere to the skin, creating suction that pulls tissue upward. The theory behind cupping is that it stimulates blood and lymphatic flow, and spurs the body’s natural healing process. The procedure is considered safe and is non-invasive and is drug-free. It is generally used in combination with chiropractic treatments to relieve pain.

Cupping Methods

There are several different cupping methods. They include:

  • Dry cupping – Heat is used to warm the cup, usually by inverting the cup over a flame or by heating the rim.
  • Air cupping – A small pump attached to the cup slowly pulls out the oxygen. These cups are usually made from silicone or plastic rather than glass.
  • Fire cupping – A more traditional method in which an alcohol-soaked cotton ball is set on fire inside the cup and quickly removed before the cup is placed on the skin.
  • Massage cupping – A secondary stage in which the cups are moved in a gliding motion over the skin after they have been applied and allowed to sit for a while.

Post-Treatment Cupping Effects

The most noticeable aftereffect of a cupping treatment is temporary skin discoloration where the cups were placed. Although they look like bruises, these marks are caused by the rise of stagnant fluids in the tissues. This is a sign that the tissue is responding to the treatment and becoming healthy. Some people also experience vivid dreams, sleepiness, and food cravings, effects which are typically short-lived and mild.

Cupping and Chiropractic Care

Like massage or acupuncture, other traditional oriental therapies, cupping is used as an adjunct to chiropractic treatments. The chiropractor will still perform spinal and joint adjustments to restore correct alignment to the spine and extremities. To promote optimum health and wellness, we also provide nutritional counseling, lifestyle advice, posture analysis, and corrective exercises.

If you suffer from musculoskeletal issues, especially muscle and soft tissue pain, give cupping a try. Contact Spring Chiropractic, your chiropractor in Spring, Texas, at (281) 651-7111. Located at 19510 Kuykendahl Road, we offer extended and Saturday hours for your scheduling convenience. In addition to cupping, we provide spinal decompression, physiotherapy, massage therapy, the Graston technique, and active release technique to help relieve your pain and promote total wellness.