Cupping – what is it and how can it help you


Have you noticed people at the gym or swimming pool with red circular marks on their back and shoulders? Perhaps you’ve noticed it watching a favorite athlete on television?  Cupping is an ancient therapy used to draw toxins from the system through the skin and is now offered in various massage treatments to aid the therapist in relieving muscle adhesions.

Most commonly, massage therapists will use a set of silicon cups to create suction on the skin and draw out toxins.  It also increases the blood flow to the area where the cup is placed which helps to relieve muscle tension and promote cell repair.  In dynamic cupping the cups are then slid back and forth at varying speeds to aid in releasing the fascia from the muscle tissue. Cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness depending on the degree of suction used and the length of time they are left in place.

In Acupuncture cupping is used to remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi) Qi is the flow of vital energy circulating through the body and the world around us. If the qi is disrupted or disturbed, it can create stagnation or imbalance in the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that is it the stagnation of qi and blood that causes pain an disease.  By drawing impurities to the surface cupping works to remove the toxins that cause the stagnation.

Chiti Parikh, M.D., integrative medicine practitioner at the Weill Cornell Medicine Integrative Health and Wellbeing Center in New York City says more often than not, that chronic stress manifests in how you carry yourself. “We’re often tensing our muscles when we’re stressed—especially when we’re hunched over our computers and our phones—and that muscle tension can result in physical pain, which is what cupping helps reduce,”.

Dr. Bairu Wang and Dr. Brenna Grieve both offering cupping during their acupuncture treatments and cupping can be added to any regular massage treatment upon request.

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