Dealing with severe bodily discomfort can be challenging, especially if your body hasn’t responded well to basic massage techniques. There are multiple potential ways to deal with chronic pain, and one of the best ways for you may be Chinese cupping therapy.
Cupping therapy is not a common therapy in Western cultures, and because of this, people often ask, “Does cupping therapy work?” The short answer is that cupping therapy can and does work for various conditions when done by a well-trained professional. Cupping is a precise art form that requires careful placement to get desired results.
In some cases, cupping may work best when done in conjunction with other massage techniques.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Chinese cupping therapy is an ancient art form that was pioneered as a part of holistic Chinese medicine. The practice involves heating glass, bamboo, or earthenware cups, placing them on the skin, and then letting the glasses cool off to create suction.
Usually, the cups are placed on the back, but they can work on other parts of the body. The suction pulls blood to specific parts of the body to draw out toxins and stimulate circulation.
There are two general types of cupping therapy: wet and dry cupping. Wet cupping involves making small superficial punctures in the skin and placing the cup on top. This technique draws blood out into the cups, removing the toxins directly from the body rather than allowing the patient to excrete them naturally.
Typically, the cups are left in place for several minutes to allow them to work without causing significant bruising. The cups are then carefully removed, and the skin allowed to return to normal. The cupping therapist may use massage oil to facilitate the removal of the cups if needed.
Chinese medicine focuses on restoring the body’s natural balance and function naturally, relying on manipulating the body’s Qi by managing blood and energy flow. Western science has affirmed the power of Chinese cupping therapy in multiple studies, so it has become more popular throughout the world.
Although Chinese cupping therapy has improved over time, it still uses its core principles of improving blood circulation in critical areas of the body. Since stagnant blood is viewed as the root cause of many conditions in Chinese medicine, stimulating blood flow can address many conditions.
Does Cupping Therapy Work?
Cupping therapy has surprising benefits due to the complex range of nerves and blood vessels in your back. It can pull different muscles depending on its exact placement, so the potential effects are diverse. In addition to relieving back pain, cupping may help treat shingles, acne, and even facial paralysis.
More research is needed to determine the total range of benefits cupping may offer. Because Western science overlooked this holistic medicine method for so long, research is still developing.
Researchers are still trying to determine precisely how cupping therapy works, especially since multiple theories potentially explain how its different effects are achieved. Some theories hone in on immune system responses, while others focus on the nervous system’s overall responses to pain.
However, the consensus is that cupping therapy can have noticeable impacts on pain and may help improve your overall quality of life. It is considered a low-risk treatment, and any mild side effects should clear up quickly. Typically, any mild dizziness or discomfort resolves within several minutes after the treatment, and bruising subsides within 10 days.
Is Cupping Therapy for Everyone?
Cupping therapy may benefit all age groups and demographics, but there are risk factors involved for some groups. Seniors may have more fragile skin than younger adults, and pregnant women should avoid cupping the lower back and abdomen.
Other people with sensitive skin conditions may need extra caution when pursuing cupping therapy. However, a trained cupping therapist can advise you on the best plan for you. In some cases, light cupping in conjunction with another massage therapy method, such as lymphatic drainage or deep tissue, may be the best choice.
What to Look For
When asking, “Does cupping therapy work?” it’s important to remember that every medical practice at least partly depends on the skills of the practitioner. Cupping therapy requires precise placement of cups and a practised hand that knows how to place the cups properly. A massage clinic or spa that offers cupping therapy without the proper training may give you unsatisfactory results or even damage your skin.
It’s important to look for a practice that offers multiple types of holistic medicine and massage therapy to give you a range of options. A practitioner who is skilled in multiple kinds of therapy will know how to unlock the best benefits possible for you. In some cases, they may recommend a different type of massage or therapy to address your health and wellness concerns.
Always ask any questions you have about sanitation, potential discomfort, and targeted problem areas as well. A practitioner’s ability to answer these questions helps prove they are qualified and can deliver cupping therapy that works.
Schedule an Appointment with Wayne Massage
If you’re still asking, “Does cupping therapy work?” the best course of action is to consult with licensed massage therapists to see for yourself. At Wayne Massage, we pride ourselves on providing Chinese cupping therapy as well as other holistic approaches, including deep tissue massage, dry needling and relaxation massage.
We are conveniently located with three branches in Sydney. You can find us near Town Hall, Kings Cross, and Hunter St, Sydney. Call us today to schedule an appointment.