Cupping is a treatment in physical therapy in which the therapist helps improve circulation in specific areas by using specialized cups to create suction. By increasing blood flow, cupping aids the healing process and helps to reduce pain and muscle tension. Cupping can be used alongside physical therapies to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries. Cupping is similar to massage therapy in that is a natural way to aid circulation, but differs from massage in that it relies on the opposite of inward pressure (i.e. suction) to ease along blood flow.
What can I expect during a cupping therapy session?
One or more cups may be placed on and around the area to be treated. Lotion or gel will be placed on the cups prior to application. A pump will be used to create a vacuum and draw the skin upward into the cup; the cups may remain on the skin for 5-10 minutes. The suction will feel tight, but not painful. Your therapist may have you remain still, or the cups may remain in place while you do exercises. The therapist may also glide the cups along your skin to lift and pull along the tissue.
What are side effects of cupping therapy?
The suction on the skin will create a quick response of redness from the blood flow. This redness may remain on the skin or turn into a dark circular mark. This discoloration could remain for a few hours or up to two weeks, depending on the person. This side effect is natural and common, and generally to be expected.
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Greendale Physical Therapy, LLC helped me regain the strength in my ankles and feet to keep me walking and continue to exercise and golf. The staff are all well skilled, pleasant, and supportive. I would highly recommend them to my friends for PT. They are a great group!
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