Cupping therapy is a treatment technique in traditional medicine dating back to thousands of years ago. In history, you can find its footprint around the world, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
There is a lot of proposed benefits in traditional cupping therapy, such as promoting peripheral blood circulation, local skin blood flow, increase pain threshold, immunity, local anaerobic metabolism and wound healing. Multiple theories have been proposed, to try and explain how these benefits are achieved, including pain gate theory, reflex zone theory, diffuse noxious inhibitory control theory, activation of immune system theory, blood detoxification theory, and nitric oxide theory. However, more research is required in verifying the relationships of these theories and the effect of cupping.
In physiotherapy, unlike traditional medicine, the clinical application of cupping technique is more related to reducing muscle, soft tissue and fascial tightness, which is called myofascial cupping. Studies have shown that cupping could be effective in treating neck and shoulder pain, headache, lower back pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and reducing scar tightness. In clinical observation, we have found that myofascial cupping can also help in treating various musculoskeletal conditions.
There are some potential side effects of cupping. The most well-known is the bruising (cup marks) after treatment. However, in myofascial cupping, as the technique does not require to leave the cup on the spot for a prolonged period, it is less likely to form cup marks. There is a slight increase in skin redness after myofascial cupping due to the temporary increase in superficial circulation, but this redness is normally gone within hours, if not, a couple of days. When the treatment is administrated carefully, it is rare to have long time side effects nor complications.
If you are interested to know more about cupping and wonder if it is a suitable treatment technique for you, you are welcome to contact us through our website or ring us on 87328888.
By Wilson Hui