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Cupping Therapy

Trust the experts at Banner Health to help get you back to everyday life. Whether you’re new to cupping or you’ve received cupping therapy before, we are here to help answer any questions. 

What Is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy is an alternative technique that helps with blood flow and circulation. Dating back to ancient cultures, cupping is not a new concept. This type of therapy is one of the oldest in medical textbooks. Cupping is sometimes considered an alternative medicine and is primarily used on the back, stomach, arms and legs.  Many people use cupping for:

  • Pain relief
  • Chronic health issues
  • Anxiety
  • And more

These cups are designed for all techniques of cupping including dry, wet and fire cupping. The glass can withstand the movement and heat that happens during the technique.

Who Can Benefit from Cupping?

Patients with chronic health conditions, such as shingles or facial paralysis, or even temporary health issues may experience cupping therapy benefits. Some patients with skin conditions, like acne, can experience cupping benefits to increase and decrease blood flow in areas. Cupping therapy can also be used on athletes as a recovery method. Consult with your doctor before receiving cupping therapy to see if you may benefit from this technique.

What to Expect After Cupping

When preparing for your cupping therapy appointment, ensure you know what to expect from cupping therapy. Banner Physical Therapy offers two types of cupping therapy: dynamic and static techniques. You and your therapist will select the right technique for you based on the location of your affected muscles and your comfort level.

  • Dynamic cupping is the technique our therapists most commonly use. During treatment, your therapist will gently apply silicone cups to your affected area. The soft tissue will begin to rise within the cup and develop into a reddish-pink color. The therapist glides the cups along your skin using light, medium or strong pressure – based on your personal preference and comfort level. Your therapist will adjust the amount of pressure as your therapy progresses.
  • Static cupping is typically used to target deeper muscles in the back. Your therapist will place silicone cups on the affected areas and leave them in one place for 2-10 minutes.

Your therapist may recommend you receive cupping therapy once or twice a week along with other therapies based on your diagnosis, overall goals and the individualized treatment plan created. The effects of cupping can vary based on your treatment plan.

Some practitioners pair cupping therapy sessions with dry needling to enhance the relief. Talk to your practitioner to learn more about dry needling.

Cupping Therapy Side Effects

While there are not any dangerous side effects of cupping therapy, some patients may experience nausea, sweating or dizziness, mild soreness in the areas where cupping is used and minimal pain. Ensure your practitioner knows if you have any skin conditions like eczema as cupping may worsen that area.

What Happens After Cupping Therapy

After cupping therapy, you can expect slight bruising where the cups were placed. All patients are different and will experience different symptoms after cupping.

Talk to your practitioner to see if cupping therapy is right for you. The team at Banner Physical Therapy is here to answer any questions you may have along your physical therapy journey. 

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