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What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine therapy believed to help keep the body in balance, increase overall blood flow and reduce pain. Some athletes use this type of therapy to decrease muscle recovery time. It is often used in conjunction with acupuncture or acupressure.

 

Cupping uses a cup to pull an area of skin into a suction that decompresses muscles and connective tissue. This promotes blood flow to the compromised area, enhances circulation and helps to increase the body’s own healing processes — almost like a backward deep tissue massage. There are several different types of cups ranging from glass to silicone and bamboo, and there are different ways to use them. Sometimes practitioners will only use one or two cups. Other times, they’ll cover your entire back with cups.

 

There are two popular types of cupping: stationary and sliding. Stationary cupping uses suction only, keeping the cups in place for a set time, usually 5 to 10 minutes. Sliding cupping is more like a deep tissue massage where the provider moves the cups over the area of pain or concern.

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