What is cupping?
We’ve all seen it, whether it’s athletes online, on the TV, or at your local gym or swimming pool people covered with perfect circular bruises along their back, arms and legs; leaving us wondering exactly what is it that they’ve been doing? Cupping uses glass or silicon rubber cups to apply a small vacuum over a specific area, widely used by athletes as a way to help them recover.
How does it work?
Cupping creates a vacuum by removing the air from a sealed area , this in turn draws the underlying soft tissue upwards to fill the vacuum. There are numerous benefits to cupping including drawing blood to a previously injured area which will aid its healing process, pain relief, promotion of an increased range of motion, releasing scar tissue and even improving mature scars.
Does it hurt?
Cupping will often leave the individual with circular bruises that may lead you to believe that the process is painful; in truth the treatment isn’t painful so much as an odd ‘pulling’ sensation. Photos and videos on social media and other platforms often show 10+ sites with deep and dark bruises, while this may on rare occasions be the case, often the treatment is performed with only one or two cups over a target area, with some leaving no lasting marks whatsoever.
When to consider cupping
Cupping is most effective when used in conjunction with other treatments such as massage or soft tissue mobilisation. In some more specialised cases such as those for athletes, cupping may be done on a large scale over multiple muscle groups pre or post event to boost performance or recovery.
Cupping may be useful for your treatment if some of the following apply:
● You have a previous or long-term current muscle injury
● You are experiencing minor nerve pain or sensations
● You want to maximise recovery following training sessions or while experiencing delayed-onset muscle soreness
Multiple therapists here at SwissPhysio offer cupping as a treatment modality, so if you think it could be beneficial to you then get in touch and you can discuss treatment options with one of our professionals!
Published on: 7th July 2023