What is cupping therapy?
Cupping therapy, commonly referred to simply as “cupping,” is an ancient therapeutic technique that can be traced back to ancient Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Egyptian cultures. In fact, cupping is so ancient that it was actually described in one of the oldest textbooks in the world, the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus in 1550 B.C.E.!
Cupping therapy may be ancient, but it’s as effective as it is simple. Originally, cupping was performed using fire to create suction under cups placed on the bare skin of the back. These cups (that look like bell-shaped jars) were often made of glass, bamboo, or earthenware.
A flammable substance such as alcohol or herbs was placed inside the cup, lit on fire, and allowed to burn out. As the fire burns out, the cup was placed on the skin. The cooling air inside the cup creates a vacuum, creating suction inside the cup.
How does cupping work?
Today, cupping remains mostly unchanged, except for the manner in which the suction is created within the cups. At Stark Chiropractic and Sports, we use plastic cups that attach to a manual suction system which removes air inside the cup to create a vacuum. In this manner, we can avoid the fire aspect of cupping, and control the level of suction in each cup a little more accurately.
When we apply cups to sore, achy, or injured areas, we help these areas heal. The suction of the cups improves blood flow as the capillaries under the cups expand. The blood that comes to the surface brings nutrients and oxygen that the affected area needs in order to heal properly. It also leaches toxins from the stagnant blood in the tissues allowing for better blood flow and function.
The expansion of capillaries and increased blood flow under the cups also means that the skin under each cup will become red or purple. These areas may remain red for up to 10 days. This is completely normal and means that your cupping session was performed properly. It is important to understand that these marks are not bruises! They are simply an accumulation of stagnant blood and toxins waiting to be removed from the tissue through the lymphatic system.
Why would I try cupping?
People turn to cupping therapy for many reasons. Cupping therapy helps with:
Achy muscles, especially in the back, neck, legs, and shoulders
Increasing blood flow
Relaxation & well-being, especially in periods of high stress or after an intense physical event
Many people view cupping as a form of deep tissue massage and enjoy its therapeutic properties on a regular basis, rather than waiting for pain or injury.
Where can I get cupping therapy in North Houston?
Cupping therapy is available at Stark Chiropractic and Sports
5625 Cypress Creek Parkway, Suite 400
Houston, TX 77069
We offer cupping therapy as part of our suite of therapeutic services. Cupping therapy is most effective when paired with chiropractic care for a holistic approach to pain/injury prevention and recovery. Cupping can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone service depending on your needs and wellness goals.
Stark Chiropractic and Sports offers alternative and holistic therapies such as cupping therapy, dry needling, Graston technique, kinesiology taping, dynamic taping, and more. Learn more about our service offerings here.
Ready to try cupping? Book your appointment online and see why this therapy has remained popular through the ages!