What is cupping?

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

Cupping is an alternative treatment primarily designed to decompress the soft tissue. Unlike many forms of manual therapy such as massage, (trigger point massage) where a compressive force is applied. Cupping does the opposite. 

The cups are applied to certain areas of the body to lift up the skin/fascia to stimulate a decompressive force on the tissue and nervous system to reduce muscular tension, neural tension, improve circulation/blood flow circulation, and/or create body awareness to particular muscles or movement patterns.

In contrast to the widely known bruising circular marks you may have seen on popular athletes such as Michael Phelps, we use cupping for a short amount of time. As a result, you often will not get bruised marks. Unfortunately, sometimes people still experience bruising, but the end result of the treatment is the same. 

In this video we are demonstrating on Kira how to unload and decompress the neural tension in her arm. We are cupping in conjunction with a neural glide to improve her range of motion alongside reducing the tingling/numbness she feels down her left 4th and 5th finger. Below, you can see the results before and after Kira’s cupping treatment. The pain and tingling kept her from fully extending her arm. The release created by the cupping now allows her to move her arm to end range without any pain. 

 

Can’t fake a smile like that!! Kira is very excited about the increased movement in her arm.

Note: this may not always be the same treatment for everyone. It will depend on a case by case analysis. Please do not attempt by yourself unless you have seen a qualified health professional.

Want to learn more about cupping? If you’d like to book in for a virtual physiotherapy appointment, feel free to call us at 8599 9811 or send us an email at hello@bosic.com.au.