Whether from exercise or chronic conditions, aches and pains can really slow down your day. A little soreness can be normal, but when your muscle pain starts to interfere with your regular activities, it might time to consider cupping therapy. A natural alternative to traditional medications and painkillers that can cause harmful chemicals to build up in your body, cupping is a great option to ease a variety of aches and strains. However, there are a few things you need to know about the practice before you go to your first session. 

 

What is Cupping Therapy? 

Originating from ancient Chinese medicine, cupping therapy has existed for centuries but it has just recently found popularity among famous athletes and celebrities. The concept behind this treatment is that the source of muscle tension and stiffness come from a lack of blood flow to crucial areas. To alleviate some of the pain associated with this kind of stagnation, cupping draws the blood up and through the muscle, encouraging new blood to flow freely. 

The cups, which are typically made of silicone or heated glass, are placed on the skin to create suction, which pulls the blood upward. There are also two types of cupping. The first method, dry cupping, is where the cups are applied to the skin and left in one spot whereas the other method, wet cupping, involves moving the cups across the skin to different paint points. 

 

Does Cupping Hurt? 

You might have seen pictures of cupping before and wondered what caused someone to have those purple circular marks. That has to hurt, right? The answer is that once your skin gets used to the pressure and pulling sensation, the process is more uncomfortable than painful. The bruises that occur after a cupping session can be tender and last a few days to a week, depending on the severity of the skin’s reaction. However, the results people experience after a cupping session far outweigh the minor inconvenience of a few purple marks and a little tenderness. 

 

Benefits of Cupping

Cupping can offer a variety of benefits to anywhere with muscle tension, not just athletes. While the process is most commonly used to treat injuries, inflammation, and relieve back pain, cupping therapy can also help with stress, anxiety, and a range of emotional complications. The treatment is popular all over the world for its long list of benefits and it is used to relieve symptoms of health issues like the common cold, allergies, and even insomnia. 

Removing toxins from your blood and promoting a healthy flow of blood can be the solution to a host of problems that are usually solved with over-the-counter medications and chemicals. 

 

How to Prepare for a Cupping Session 

Before going to your first appointment, you should check in with your doctor and consult with your local licensed practitioner to find out if you’re a good candidate for cupping therapy. There are a few people who should not use cupping therapy. Pregnant women, individuals with bleeding disorders, people with open wounds, and seniors who might suffer from weaker compositions should seek alternative treatment methods for muscle pain. 

Talk to a professional and get their expert opinion on whether cupping is right for you.