Everything you need to know about cupping

Chances are you might’ve already seen the latest wellness and athletic figures (think Stephen Curry, Michael Phelps, Gwyneth Paltrow) with strange round marks on their bodies. But this holistic treatment is nothing new – in fact, it’s been around for as long as 5000 years. So what is it, and how can cupping benefit you? Scroll through to find the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

What is cupping?
Cupping refers to a non-invasive ancient Eastern practice of applying heated cups that form a suction to one’s skin. The cup is left on for a short period of time, anywhere from 10-20 minutes, during which the skin and a layer of muscle are drawn into and held in the cup.

What are the main benefits of cupping?
Some benefits of cupping include: improvements in lymphatic flow, blood circulation, muscle recovery, relaxation and stress; relief from back, neck, and shoulder pain; and opening up of blocked pathways that often trigger inflammatory responses within the body.

Is it painful?
The treatment itself is not painful, but might cause very mild discomfort; the sensations you will feel are warmth (as a result of the cup being heated) and pressure (from your skin being pulled into the cup).

How long do the marks last?
The circular marks on the skin last anywhere from 2-10 days, which varies depending on each individual’s body.

What do the bruises’ colors indicate?
In general, darker marks indicate poor blood circulation and stagnation. However, the more cupping sessions you attend will lead to healthier overall circulation and lighter marks.

What is the treatment like/how long does it last?
The treatment begins with a thorough assessment of your health history, with an emphasis on injured or pain areas. Our certified acupuncturists will then apply dry glass cups to and around these areas and create a vacuum seal. The cups are left for 10-20 minutes while the area is warmed with infrared heat. In total, the session lasts around 40 minutes.

Can you do it anywhere on your body?
Cupping is applied to fleshy areas of the body, the most common of which include the back, neck, and shoulders; the abdomen; as well as arms and legs.

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