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What Is Cupping and Should You Try It?

Is cupping a smart treatment option for you? Learn the pros and cons here.

If you are looking into alternative treatment methods, one method you may have come across before is cupping.

What is cupping and is it right for you? Many people don’t fully understand what this particular method is so aren’t informed enough to make a decision.

Let’s change that by going over what you must know about cupping.

What Is Cupping?

Cupping is a particular form of ancient alternative medicine where the treatment physician places a few suction cups on your skin for a couple minutes. This helps to form a mold to the skin, creating the suction which then assists with improving the level of pain in the treatment area, the overall inflammation, the level of blood flow, as well as it helps to promote relaxation.

For anyone who is suffering from sports related injuries or just general aches and pains, this practice can help it go away.

The cups that are utilized may be made of different materials depending on the particular practitioner. Some like to use glass cups while others prefer using bamboo, earthenware, or silicone cups.

In early days, before the cupping procedure, the therapist would place a flammable substance in the cup and light it on fire briefly. The fire is then put out and this cup is what is placed on your skin.

It will be warm, but it should not burn you in any way. The cooling of the air is what helps to create the vacuum, which then causes the suction to occur. The cup is left on the skin for approximately 3 minutes before it’s removed.

In today’s times, fire is not typically used but rather, there is a rubber pump that is utilized to help create the vacuum, which has the same effect and end result.

If you see a therapist who is also trained in acupuncture, you may also get needling done before the cupping procedure as well. This is believed by some to make it more effective.

Is Cupping Right For You?

So should you try cupping?

There are a number of symptoms and conditions in which cupping is supposed to help alleviate. These include various blood-related disorders such as anemia, rheumatic diseases, and arthritis, skin problems, fertility-related issues, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety, and depression, and it may also help those who are dealing with varicose veins.

That said, it doesn’t come without side effects. Those who are doing cupping may notice some slight discomfort at first when beginning the procedure before they are used to the process.

In addition to that, you may burn where the cups are placed and on top of that, you may also notice that you feel very tired the next day. Some people react with extreme fatigue after their first few cupping sessions, so do plan for some downtime after finishing this treatment. That will ensure you give your body the rest it needs to complete the healing process.

So there you have the need to know facts about cupping. It can be a great treatment method to look into if you have already exhausted others such as physiotherapy and chiropractic care and are still looking to find relief for whatever ails you.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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