What are these weird dark circles seen more and more on the bodies Olympic athletes and various professional elite athletes? The answer in short, is Cupping Therapy! What is Cupping Therapy? Cupping Therapy is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine much like Acupuncture that has been around for a few millennia. Cupping Therapy was not only utilized in ancient china, but evidence also suggests that the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Japanese, and Persians also utilized cupping therapy.
There are a few different forms of Cupping Therapy:
For the intents and purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on Dry Cupping as I utilize solely the Dry Cupping method when it comes to Cupping at Jordan Chiropractic Clinic. Dry Cupping can even be performed one of two ways: the cup is placed on a single area or by moving the cup around an area much like massage but with suction.
So, what exactly does cupping do? Some studies have indicated that Cupping Therapy can help with neck pain, chronic low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome and much more musculoskeletal complaints. Truth be told, however, the jury is still out as to medical research studies substantiating the claims of the benefits and the physiological healing mechanisms of cupping. Therefore, more well designed studies are needed to determine the efficacy of Cupping Therapy. There are observable effects of Cupping Therapy, the most obvious effect and benefit is increased blood flow to the area of cupping. There are various levels as to the intensity of the blood flow increased to the area of cupping. Some areas where the cups are placed can cause a lighter pink-red circle while other areas of cupping produce a much more pronounced area of blood flow that is more reddish purple in coloration. This response is called a Petechiae Response. Typically, but not always, these darker areas with the Petechiae response are trigger points that the patient needs treated. So, how is increased blood flow to the area of cupping considered a benefit? Increased blood flow to an area is basically stimulating a healthy inflammatory response to the affected tissue. Wait, isn’t inflammation bad? Rest assured, while chronic inflammation is definitely BAD and can drive several different disease processes and dysfunctions in the body, this type of inflammation we’re talking about is an acute healing inflammation where antibodies are mobilized to the area to try to heal the muscle fibers.
The main benefits typically experienced by patients is decreased pain/tenderness/soreness of the area in question and treated. The second main benefit is increased range of motion of the treated area. In closing, when it comes to relaxing chronically tightened muscles, cupping is almost always my go-to therapy and makes for a truly great chiropractic adjustment once the musculature of the neck, back and shoulders are relaxed!
If you’re intrigued or think you could benefit from Cupping, be sure to call our office today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Luke!
In good health,
Dr. Luke Moore, D.C.