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Suction Cupping

While suction cupping was recently made famous by athletes sporting the signature round bruises at the 2016 Olympics, it is a treatment modality that goes back thousands of years. It is used to release trapped heat in the body and to promote circulation and blood flow within the muscles. Bruising occurs when there is a vast amount of dead cell waste that has not been eliminated due to poor blood circulation and tight muscles. Cupping can bring the waste up to the surface, helping the body more efficiently eliminate these “toxins”. It is possible to receive cupping and not have any bruises if there is good circulation in the body.


There are different methods of cupping. Two of the most common styles include fire cupping and plastic suction cupping.


Fire cupping involves traditional glass cups. A cotton ball, held with forceps, is dipped in isopropyl alcohol and set on fire. The flame is rapidly swirled inside the glass cup to create an oxygen-less vacuum. The cup is then rapidly placed on the skin, creating a suction. The cup either sits on the skin for 10-15 minutes or can be slid across the skin for an invigorating effect.


Plastic suction cupping involves plastic cups that are applied using a suction pump. While it lacks the therapeutic quality of heat, it holds a strong suction that helps to release and relieve sore, tight muscles. Bruising often occurs with all methods of cupping but will fade within 1-2 weeks. We encourage you not to expose your skin directly after a cupping session.

If you are wondering whether cupping can help treat your condition, contact us for a free phone consultation.

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