Cupping therapy is an alternative treatment method with roots dating back over 3,000 years ago. More commonly known as an eastern medicine treatment it has slowly increased in popularity over the years especially with its use during the 2016 summer Olympics. Three primary methods of cupping exist.

Dry Cupping

Dry cupping therapy involves creating a small area of low pressure next to the skin. A variety of tools can be used to accomplish this. The most common being a mechanical pump.

Wet Cupping

Wet cupping therapy involves create small incisions to be made in the skin prior to application of the cup to assist in the therapeutic process by drawing out toxins.

Fire Cupping

Fire cupping therapy involves placing a cotton ball soaked in pure alcohol into the cup prior to application. This fire serves to heat the inside of the cup as well as create a suctioning effect due to the contrast between the warm air and the cooling air.

The cups used can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to assist in creating the intended results. The most common cups are made of plastic and glass. The cups exert their effects via the suction force which creates a lifting force over the skin and targeted area. After the removal of the cup slight skin markings may occur such as simple red rings or bruising due to damage of the capillaries just under the skin. This will resolve in few days and treatments are usually not very painful.

The Effects of Cupping Therapy

  • Decrease pain
  • Decrease muscle tone and tension
  • Break of adhesions
  • Lift connective tissue
  • Facilitate with blood flow and healing

At Symmetry Physical Therapy our therapist’s our trained in the mechanical pump technique of cupping. Following an in-depth initial evaluation and program design your therapist will decide if cupping is indicated for you and will help you achieve your goals!

cupping practices during physical therapy treatments symmetry physical therapy