Traditional cupping dates back hundreds of years ago and is still practiced to date. The theory behind why cupping works is not properly researched and therefore has not been explained through scientific evidence. There are two ways to administer traditional cupping. Wet and dry techniques.
We use a suction cup to present a novel (new) stimulus to superficial areas of the body. This is thought to decrease the perception of threat to a painful area and results in improved quantity and quality of movement. Applying the cup to the skin is thought to decrease the overactivity (tone or tension) felt in a muscle or fascial system by acting on how the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) perceives this new stimulation. We use this therapy to help promote bending, folding and stretching of these tissues during movement in a non-threatening, non-painful way.
When there is a perceived threat to the body, the nervous system will alter the body’s movement behaviours, often by sending a pain signal or increasing tone in a muscle to limit range of movement and safeguard the area.
The proposed treatment is to be done either by a clinician or by the client themselves. The clinician or individual places the cup on the specific area, maintains suction for 2-3 minutes and then performs a stretch or contraction of the muscles for the remaining 2 minutes. The total treatment time per area is 3-5 minutes. Other techniques such as dragging and pulling may help to distract layers of tissue and present a novel stimuli (tissue distraction) which in turn may help to decrease tone of the surrounding muscle and connective tissue.
Cupping on occasion may cause bruising. But this is not the desired effect. Therefore, we advise limiting the total treatment time as to minimize the potential for bruising. Prior to attempting self suction cup release, make sure you speak to your health care professional to ensure this treatment is right for you. Interested in our opinion? Give us a call, send us an email or book an appointment. We can help determine whether or not cupping may help you treat yourself from the comfort of your home.