Displaying items by tag: michael phelps

Friday, 08 June 2018 08:08

What Is Cupping Therapy?

Having gained media attention from swimming sensation Michael Phelps, cupping therapy has become increasingly more popular in recent years. From fitness influencers to professional athletes, the circular bruises left behind by this common therapy regimen are seen across social platforms, leaving many people asking, “What in the world?”

So, What In The World Is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping has been around for much longer than most people know. With roots in ancient, alternative medicine, cupping is a therapy that helps with pain, inflammation, and blood flow.

There are two different methods of cupping: dry or wet. During both cupping methods, a therapist will light a flammable substance inside the cup, placing it upside down on a specific area as the fire goes out. The air inside the cup then cools, creating a vacuum on your skin. A recent evolution to the technique uses rubber cups that suction air without the use of fire. This causes the blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow to the area.

The therapy can be done through a static or dynamic process. In static cupping, the cups will remain on your skin for approximately three minutes, while with dynamic cupping, the cups are continuously moved toward the lymphatic system.

Cupping Therapy: More Than Just Sports Recovery

While cupping massage has become highly popularized in sports circles, it is more than just another type of massage therapy. Cupping therapy also opens the body up to encourage detoxification by creating a space to drain toxins from cells. Your body does this naturally through the lymphatic system, so using cupping therapy to direct those toxins to the right areas, gives your body an extra boost.

What To Expect With Cupping Therapy

With cupping marks being featured everywhere from Olympic podiums to your best friend's Instagram feed, it can be a little intimidating to jump right into a therapy that can leave the gnarly looking red welts. However, it does provide a number of benefits that make the potential for bruising worth it. Here are some common fears surrounding cupping and some idea of what you can really expect when trying out this therapy.

It Isn't As Painful As It Looks

The bruises are indicative of poor circulation or higher levels of toxicity, so darker marks are not representative of the intensity of the therapy itself. That's not to say you won't experience any discomfort or soreness, but the feeling is commonly described as similar to deep tissue massage or intense foam rolling. Any lingering soreness often subsides after 24-36 hours. But, any pain effects will vary from person to person.

There's More Than One Option

With both stagnant and dynamic cupping therapies available, you can try out different methods to see what works best for your lifestyle and physical mobility.

Check With Your Doctor

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for cupping therapy. It's always best to check with your regular physician before trying any new form of therapy.

What Are The Benefits Of Cupping?

The benefits of cupping range far and wide. By increasing blood flow and pushing toxins towards the lymphatic system, cupping serves as a catalyst for the body to do what it does on its own more quickly. Some of the specific benefits include:

  • Eliminating physical and psychological weakness
  • Reducing fever
  • Fighting dermatological diseases, including acne, herpes, and boils
  • Supports the prevention of liver disease
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Treating gastrointestinal diseases
  • Treating rheumatic diseases
  • Supporting the nervous system

For all these reasons, cupping has become a common and popular treatment for all types of people, from professional athletes to your average individual.

Interested in trying cupping therapy for yourself? Contact Dr. Funk at Ideal Health Chiropractic today.

Published in Chiropractic Care