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Modern Cupping Therapy



Cupping has been used for thousands of years. Many different cultures have used cups, along with the negative pressure created inside of them in their own unique way to remove, or “suction,” unwanted materials from the body (sickness, pains, pathogenic substances, etc.). Today, modern bodywork practitioners have steadily adopted cupping as a complementary and alternative therapy to treat everything from constipation, cellulite, to back and shoulder pain.


Cupping is a form of controlled suction or negative pressure that allows for the separation of fused or adhered tissue. This pulling action can potentially draw out any interstitial debris that may be trapped within the soft tissues. Interstitial debris is any material that the body could not dispose of on its own, such as, old blood deposits (from injuries or surgeries), cellular waste that the lymphatic system could not assimilate, metabolic waste (e.g., lactic acid), medications, toxins (e.g., environmental, chemical exposures, smoke), foreign objects (e.g., stitches). Cups stimulate a local response within the underlying tissues structures, which is called vasodilation. Vasodilation allows for fluids to rush into or through the area. Cupping promotes enhanced fluid exchange because the cups act as a vacuum, drawing fluids into previously deficient areas (dehydrated, malnourished, or ischemic tissues). Cups env=courage fluids through their respective exchange process (capillary exchange, lymph drainage. Due these primary physiological responses, cupping can:


-Promote skeletal muscle health and recovery

-Promote lengthening of tight muscles

-Encourage blood and lymph circulation

-Support temperature regulation

-Reduce inflammation (acute and chronic)

-Break up, heal, soften scar tissue

-Alleviate adhesions (within muscles or connective tissues, visceral organs, and across body systems)

-Help to clear congestion and stagnation, potentially releasing interstitial debris

-Lift, rehydrate, and manipulate fascia

-Encourage neovascularization (supply nutrients and oxygen to previously deficient tissues)

-Alleviate excessive pressure on soft tissue and reduce pain


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