CuppingAt Lok Acupuncture Clinic we know that there are many reasons you might find yourself in our office. Just as each patient has unique needs, each patient also has unique preferences when it comes to receiving treatment. We strive to provide not only a quality, holistic healthcare experience to all of our patients, but to also educate our patients on their treatment options. One of the services we offer and often receive questions about is cupping.

What is cupping?

Cupping is an ancient practice and can be found as far back as 1550 B.C. in Egyptian texts. It was practiced in ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures as well. Cupping has been adopted by practitioners across many different forms of eastern medicine, and is used to treat a wide range of health issues including, but not limited to:

  • Inflammation
  • Injury
  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Joint problems
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Digestive issues
  • Arthritis
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety

What to Expect

We perform cupping therapy by placing specialized cups on your skin for several minutes to create suction. You can think of it as the opposite of a massage – pulling your tissue up rather than massing your tissue down. Depending on your needs, cupping can also be combined with acupuncture.

Your practitioner will create the suction in the cups by first putting a flammable substance in the cups and setting it on fire. As the flame goes out, your practitioner will carefully place the cup upside down on your skin. As the air within the cup cools, it creates a vacuum that causes your skin and underlying soft tissues to be suctioned up into the cup. In most cases, these cups are left in place for a few minutes and then gently removed.

Why use cupping?

Some of the benefits of cupping include reduced pain and inflammation, a greater sense of calm and well-being, decreased pain and irritation caused by skin, joint, and muscle issues, improved digestion, and lowered blood pressure.

The side effects of cupping are generally mild and may include bruising where the cups were placed and minor discomfort. Bruising and marks left from the therapy typically last a few days, but may take more than a week to fade.

Is cupping for everyone?

While cupping can be beneficial for many people, it isn’t for everyone. Extra precaution should be taken during cupping for women who are pregnant or menstruating, as well as children under the age of 4 and seniors. Older children should only receive cupping treatment for short periods of time.

If you have a sunburn, ulcer, wound, internal organ disorder, recently experienced trauma, or are currently using a blood-thinning medication, you should avoid cupping. Always consult with your provider about cupping before scheduling an appointment, as certain other medications can have an effect on treatment.

If you have questions about cupping or would like to make an appointment, please call Lok Acupuncture Clinic, Ltd today. We look forward to helping you find the calm and relief you desire and deserve!

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