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Cupping is an ancient technique, used in many cultures, in which a special cup is applied to the skin and held in place by suction. The suction draws superficial tissue into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body.  This process gently stretches the underlying musculature and tissues, relieving tension and spasm.  It also increases circulation and releases toxins.  Patients commonly feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup.  It is often relaxing and soothing.  Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red or purple from the increased blood flow.  This discoloration can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days but is rarely painful. 

Cupping can be used to treat colds, flu, back and muscle pain.  It is not to be used on patients who bleed easily/cannot stop bleeding, have skin ulcers or edema.  Pregnant women should be cupped with extreme caution and never on the abdomen or lower back.

Athletes have been known to use cupping to improve health and performance and relieve stiffness.  You don't have to be an athlete to try it.  It's beneficial for almost everyone.

This photo shows fire cupping, where heat is used to create the suction.  In this office I use a pneumatic device to create the suction, not fire. The effect however is the same.



Muscle spasms? Recovery after training or performance? 


Holly Peralez, L.Ac.