Cupping has been around for thousands of years and has been used in different cultures to resolve a variety of conditions.
Cupping has some local effects by stretching the skin, fascia and muscle tissues. You also get some localized improved blood flow and metabolic changes.
Most benefit however is coming from the neuro-physiologic effects. Cupping can be used as a novel, non-threatening stimulus to reduce muscle tone in the treated area. As a results of this patients experience improved mobility and less pain.
In Western medicine dry cupping has mostly been used for the treatment of pain and to help with recovery. After the 2016 Olympics I have received a lot more requests for this treatment, because of #MichaelPhelps
There has not been much research on cupping, but the studies do indicate a possibility of pain relief. For me, these treatments are like any other Manual Therapy we offer, a great adjunct to make it easier for patients to move and exercise. You get temporary relief and a sense of improved flexibility and that allows for more effective and efficient movement.
Less is More!
I believe is “less is more”, so I start with a few cups for a few minutes and see how the patient tolerates it and how it affects the pain and movement. Then we progress, typically by adding movement…….see next post;)