Cupping is a very effective and rapid method to relieve muscle tension. This method is especially helpful when cupping is applied to the neck and shoulder areas. Long hours on the computer is a common cause of neck and back pain and cupping is a great method to provide immediate relaxation and relief. As one of the primary methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cupping dates back to the 4th century. Cupping can help stop headaches, dizziness, and abdominal discomfort.
Today, most clinics use cups made of thick glass or plastic. Glass cups are the preferred method of delivery because they do not break as easily and they allow the acupuncturist to see the skin and evaluate the effects of treatment. The two basic cupping methods used are fire cupping and gliding cupping with oil (aka moving cupping).
Is cupping safe? Does it hurt?
Cupping is considered very safe, however it does produce light bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand – This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are painless and generally disappear within a few days of treatment.
To achieve the best results with cupping, light oil should be applied to the skin – this allows that the cups can be moved along specific muscle fibers after they are applied. Many clinics do not use the oil-cupping method and therefore do not get the best possible results. At Palmetto Chiro, we generally get truly exceptional results in using the cups to relieve muscle tension and pain.