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5 Benefits of Cupping Therapy: The Ancient Treatment Still Being Used Today

    Cupping has gained popularity recently in the sports and fitness industry and has many benefits to its use. Cupping has become much more accessible to the everyday athlete since the 2012 olympics when Michael Phelps was rocking cupping marks. But this technique is nothing new and has been around since 1,500 BC! But what makes this powerful and old technique so sought after? Here are five benefits of cupping therapy!

    1. Releases tight muscles.

    Muscles that have tensed up after a hard workout or from sitting too long can cause pain directly in the area or around that area. Cupping has a relaxing effect because it lifts up these tightened muscles providing great relief. Cupping can provide a deep tension relief of a deep tissue massage without the painful pressure.

    2. Calms the nervous system

    When structures that lay on top of the nerves feel pressure they can become agitated and you may experience sharp shooting pains. Cupping works to lift up these structures and allow lymphatic fluid to release any inflammation in the area. This results in a powerful aliverater for radicular symptoms for people suffering from sciatica or herniated disks.

    3. Reduces swelling

    When cups are applied to the skin they create a negative pressure which causes the lymphatic system to dilate. The lymphatic system is responsible for moving nutrients in and out of our tissues and when this system is dilated it is able to transport more nutrients at a faster pace. The effect here is a speedy recovery for patients whose joints are inflamed including people with arthritis or even an ankle sprain.

    4. Helps to activate imbalanced muscles.

    The negative pressure effect of cupping creates a novel stimulus that promotes muscular contraction. This can be used when recovering from an injury such as a muscle sprain where someone might be reluctant to use their sprained muscles. The cups act as a facilitator in the process by helping the brain communicate with the injured tissue. The same strategy is applied to muscles that are atrophied from chronic misuse or neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis.

    5. Promotes overall relaxation.

    Cupping is a modality health practitioners will use for patients that overall need to relax. This modality causes a negative pressure which influences the body to release feel good chemicals and in result causes a full body relaxation effect. “When cupping is combined with a tailored exercise program and other manual techniques the effects are powerful!” Says Dr. Alexander Miscannon, PT, DPT owner of TORQ Physical Therapy.

    If you haven’t tried cupping therapy yet you are missing out on all these great benefits. When selecting a health professional it is best to look for someone who has received additional training in this modality . If  you are seeking cupping therapy for an injury it is best to see someone with a high level of education such as a Doctor of Physical Therapy or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.