You may have noticed in the past few years a new tend has taken over pro-athletes. Fear not, those circular bruises covering your favorite athlete’s limbs, back and upper body, and chest are actually marks they received after undergoing cupping therapy.
Now, while this therapy may seem new, it has actually been practiced for thousands of years. The first Egyptian Medical Textbook the Ebers Papyrus, written in 1500 BC, is the first evidence documented in writing about cupping therapy as an essential medical technique. However, there was lots of evidence to suggest the renowned Greek philosopher Hippocrates used cupping to treat a vast variety of internal diseases around 400 BC. Cupping was also widely used in ancient Chinese medicine, and is still used today as an ancient healing technique.
- Improved Circulation
- Regulation of the skin’s biomechanical properties
- Increased pain thresholds
- Reduced inflammation
- Improvement of the cellular immune system
Types of cupping:
- Dry cupping:
- Modern day cupping usually utilizes dry cupping techniques.
- Wet cupping:
- Thought to possibly draw out harmful toxins.
- Bamboo cups:
- Bamboo cups were the original cups used in ancient alternative medicine.
- Glass cups:
- Used in most chiropractic and physical therapy offices.
- Silicone cups:
- Silicone is also commonly used in chiropractic offices. Silicone allows more flexibility in treatment; patients say this gives the treatment a massage-like effect.
- Needle cupping:
- A combination of Acupuncture and Cupping.
What to expect:
Modern cupping is usually dry cupping which uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the glass or silicon cup which is left on for a few minutes.
Wet cupping goes a step further in that the chiropractor administering the treatment will use a small scalpel to make very light marks on the skin and then administer a second suction. This technique is thought to draw out toxins though these claims have not been proven.
You may notice mild discomfort and circular bruises directly after treatment. Bruising usually lasts a few days but will not usually last more than 10 days.