Most likely you saw Michael Phelps compete in the Rio Olympics with several dark circles across his back and learned that they were from a practice called cupping. Whether you have enjoyed the benefits of cupping for many years or would like to try it to relieve pain or aid in recovery, we now offer this service! Make an appointment today at the Cafe of Life in Longmont for a cupping session to alleviate a variety of conditions including neck, back, knee or carpal tunnel pain.
In the 2012 Wall Street Journal article, Kathleen Lumiere, Professor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Bastyr University, explains that cupping “increases blood flow to the area and creates a mild immune response” to help relieve pain. The practice has been in use since ancient times in China, Egypt and the Middle East but has become more widespread in the United States over the last decade. Cups are left on the body for up to 20 minutes while suction draws the skin up and leaves a temporary purplish mark when released.
Types of Cupping to Relieve Pain and Aid in Recovery
- Fire Cupping- the air inside a glass cup is quickly heated by a ball of burning cotton and then placed on the skin to create suction as the air cools.
- Pump Cupping- silicone cups with valves employ a pump instead of heat to create a vacuum.
- Wet Cupping- tiny cuts with a scalpel are made before placing the cup to draw out a small amount of blood.
Several studies have shown promising results, including a 40-person study published in the Journal of Occupational Health in September 2012 that found the relief from computer-related neck pain lasted a month after cupping. Another 40-person study in Germany found that cupping helped people suffering from painful arthritis in their knees, versus those who received no therapy. Other studies have shown positive results for people with a wide range of ailments, such as facial paralysis, herpes zoster and even acne!
If you have inflammation or knotted muscles, cupping can provide the benefits of deep tissue massage without the discomfort- book an appointment today with our acupuncturist, Christa, at the Cafe of Life in Longmont to experience the many health benefits of cupping!