Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy in Canberra

Cupping therapy, also called Chinese cup or suction cup therapy, is a common adjunctive therapy with an acupuncture or message for myofascial pain and sports injuries.

When the Rio Olympians, swimmers Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin, started showing off the strange red circles on their skin in 2016, the mainstream media had headline stories covering the cupping therapy. Dated back a decade ago that actress Gwyneth Paltrow already popularised cupping by walking on the red carpet with a backless dress and cupping marks all up her spine.

The ancient practice of cupping is traditionally used to treat arthritic symptoms, asthma, the common cold, chronic cough, indigestion problems and some skin conditions. It becomes increasingly popular among athletes in combination with other forms of treatment to help heal from injuries and also speed up the recovery.

In the traditional belief, cupping affects the flow of Qi and blood. It helps draw out and eliminate pathogenic factors such as wind, cold, damp and heat. Cupping also moves Qi and Blood and opens the pores of the skin, thus precipitating the removal of pathogens through the skin itself.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy for Athletes

Cupping is traditionally used to help alleviate respiratory tract infections such as asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and pneumonia. Cupping has also been increasingly popular among athletes as it can assist the relaxation of muscles as well as reducing body aches and pain.

Reduce Inflammation
Cupping therapy may help heal the inflammation and stiffness in the joints. The sucking effect during cupping works to pull the tissues and muscles off the bones. The vacuum thus created fills with fresh blood and lymph that is rich in oxygen and nutrients which speed up the healing process. While conventional medicine aims at suppressing inflammation, cupping therapy works to remove the causes of the inflammation.

Ease Plantar Fasciitis
Cupping may help provide relief to athletes suffering from plantar fasciitis (Heel Pain). Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and weak and as a result, the patient feels an excruciating pain in feet or heels and is unable to set the foot down, especially in the morning or after sitting for a while. Cupping may help reduce this inflammation and relieve the pain using relaxing gliding cupping technique.

Cupping as Myofascial Release
Cupping therapy may also help relieve the tight hamstring and calves even if they result from training and not from some injury. The treatment helps increase flexibility so athletes can train longer and harder. When the procedure was performed on athletes, they may notice an increased range of active flexion and extension movement.

Is Cupping Therapy Safe

Cupping therapy is considered very safe to use when taken from a certified practitioner, who takes all the precautions for contraindications and maintaining the sterilising guideline. People can even do Dry Cupping (no broken-skin) on themselves at home by using simple cupping toolset. When looking for a therapist who does it professionally, especially Wet Cupping (blood-letting) on you, make sure that he or she has extensive experience, necessary certification, and follows the mandatory guidelines.

Cupping vs Acupuncture
– Which Method Suits You Better

While both acupuncture and cupping work to remove the obstructions of the energy flow, however, they are working differently. Try to explain in a layman's term, acupuncture works like Flushing blockages in the energy pipeline, cupping works like Sucking the dirt out of the body. While acupuncture is very powerful on fine-tuning the body's energy balance, cupping more effective on the cleansing of the blockages.

Rule of thumb: For myofascial pain and sports injuries, cupping works very fast and easy to use. For more complex health issues, acupuncture always a better choice. In Chenzen Wellness Centre, both acupuncture and cupping are stand-alone treatment options, however, your therapists may combine both modalities during one treatment session if your health condition require both fine-tuning and unblocking the energy system.

Our registered practitioners have extensive experience in practice cupping therapy safely.”
How to find a good acupuncturist? Check out Chen’s advice here.