Cupping is one of the oldest and most effective forms of alternative therapy in the world. The practice comes from traditional Chinese medicine and later spread globally. As the name implies, cupping uses cups to create a suction effect on different body parts. The skin under the cups pulls upward, improving blood flow in the area. Cupping is a low-risk therapy that’s said to provide positive effects against pain. Over time, technology has significantly improved to support cupping. Examples of this include the Cupping Warehouse Pistol Grip Pump Gun Cups for Therapists. [Learn More]
History of Cupping
- Cupping Therapy dates back to 1500 BC from ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures spreading to Europe and North America. Chinese texts show that cupping first began in Asia around AD 281 and became common among Taoist practitioners. They believed that it helped balance out positive and negative forces in the body.
Medicinal texts later showed that cups could help blood flow better, relieve tension in the muscles, and promote healing. Some even state that it helps strengthen the body and resist diseases. Cups can come from a variety of materials that all provide the same effect. Some examples include:
An example of silicone cups would be our Silicone Cups for Professionals and Personal care cups. They are an extremely popular choice for professional use. [Learn More]
How Does Cupping Work?
Much research on cupping has been conducted in China, but with the resurgence of cupping over the past few years, scientific studies are on the rise in the west and we are excited with all the new data being released on the effects of cupping on the body.
Professionals and Experts are exploring how cupping helps ease pain, increase functionality and reduce disease symptoms.
Who Performs Cupping?
Basic cupping treatments are becoming very popular for personal care, self care and home cure due to it's ability to enhance your treatments with your cupping professional sessions and is also used enhance beauty treatments for facelifting, cellulite reduction as well as address chronic pain relief.
All advanced cupping treatments should be performed by a healthcare professional trained in cupping. Below is a list of some professions who are currently receiving cupping training and performing treatments.
- Massage Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Athletic Trainers
- Medical Doctors
Types of Cupping
There are two forms of cupping that practitioners use today:
Using this method, the therapist will either use traditional fire cupping in which they would set a substance or item on fire inside the cup with a rapid removal of the fire and air in the cup. The goal is to create a shift in temperature within the cup. After the fire goes out, they then place the cup on the desired area upside down. Since air moves up to cool, the cup creates a vacuum effect. It raises the skin and expands the blood vessels, causing it to appear red.
In more modern methods, therapists use a plastic pistol pump gun to create the same effect within a plastic cupping cup. The goal is to make a vacuum in the cup that can raise the skin. Some cups stay for minutes on the skin, while others can move from place to place, creating a massaging effect. In a cupping session, you can have around 3-5 cups in the treatment area.
Then, there also other modern cupping cups which can be squeezed to create suction which eliminates the need for a pistol pump gun.
For those wanting to learn cupping at home, there are products available apart from professional equipment. You can find personal care cups online, and they are designed to be beginner-friendly. [Learn More]
Wet cupping should always be performed by a Professional. Wet Cupping uses the same method as dry cupping but adds an extra step. The therapist uses a small scalpel to create cuts on the skin. Others use acupuncture needles which they incorporate with the suction. The result is that the wounds draw out a small amount of blood.
Supporters of wet cupping believe that removing blood could help cleanse the body from toxins and other substances. However, there is currently no scientific proof of this claim.
To prevent issues, the therapist then applies an antibiotic and bandages the area. The skin should return to normal after approx. ten days, but permanent scarring could occur and carries a risk for infection.
What Can Cupping Treat?
For a long time, cupping was a method for treating various pain issues. They have shown to be effective in treating minor pain, as well as chronic conditions. People often seek out cupping to treat or relieve symptoms of:
- Carpal tunnel
- Stomach pain, Irritable bowel and other Gastrointestinal Issues including Digestion
- Many forms of body pain (back, shoulder, neck, knee, etc.)
- Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis
- Headaches and Migraines
Later on, research revealed that cupping could improve more than just pain. Now people use the treatment for:
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal conditions
- Asthma and coughing and other respiratory conditions
- Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
- Rehabilitation of Muscular skeletal Issue and Surgeries
- Sports Injury prevention and performance enhancement and reported to be used to speed up recovery time.
- Facelifting - Decreasing Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Increase Collagen and Elastin for plumping and lifting
- Body Lymph Drainage and Facial Sinus Drainage
- Body Contouring and Remodeling of Tissue for Cellulite, Abdominal bloat and buttocks
Doctors and scientists suggest further studies on using cupping for treating serious conditions.
Some believe that the research for these conditions has some inherent bias. It does not remove the fact that some people have experienced positive effects from using cupping for these conditions.
Cupping has become so popular that at-home cups are now available for purchase. You can find different types of self-care cups online. [Learn More]
Cupping doesn’t commonly cause serious side effects, though some people experience light effects right after the treatment. The most common ones are irritation and marks along the treatment area. Wet cupping also comes with a bit of pain because of the incisions and risk for infection. Wet Cupping should always be performed by a Professional.
Some potential side effects include the following:
- Infection (Mostly for Wet Cupping)
- Bruises (Cupping Marks typically fade within minutes and up to approx 10 days)
- Blisters ( If heated cups or if cups are left on too long, are too strong, or compromised client/patient)
- Burns (If heated cups , cups left left on too long or if suction too strong)
- Scarring (Can occur from cupping burns, blisters or from wet cupping)
- Dizziness/Nausea ( Due to drop in blood pressure and or release of neurotransmitters)
- Fatigue/Sleepy (Typically from release of Neurotransmitters)
- Muscle Tension or Soreness
It’s also essential to use clean equipment and that it’s thoroughly sterilized after each use. Infectious diseases like hepatitis can spread through cupping equipment if not careful. Make sure that you or the practitioner is using safety equipment. You or the therapist must also clean the items after use.
Because of sanitation and virus concerns, cupping at home has become a common practice. Some products even prioritize safety and minimizing the symptoms as much as possible. One such product is our Personal Face Cups. [Learn More]
Cupping isn’t for everyone. Some age groups and conditions should avoid cupping. These include:
- Those with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners
- Those with blot clotting issues or history of blood clots or stroke
- Those who are currently menstruating
- Children - Consult Professional
- Cancer Survivors or Individuals who have received Chemo- Consult Professional
- Skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis
- Seizures (epilepsy)
Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list. It’s highly recommended that you visit a professional to determine if cupping is safe for you.
Pregnant women can receive cupping therapy, although they need to avoid using the cups on their abdomen and lower back to avoid harming the fetus.
- Cupping helps to reduce pain and inflammation
- Improves Blood Flow, Circulation and Lymphatic Drainage to the affected area
- Used for relaxation, well being and deep tissue massage
- It is relatively safe, non invasive and inexpensive treatment.
Only Use Specialized Products
For those interested in cupping at home, they should use modern products. They are easier to use and have less risk of something going wrong. They’re designed to make cupping simple, even for beginners.
If you’re looking for the right cups to use, check out our selection today. We offer cups that are ideal for both personal and professional use.
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