Do we still remember “cupping” or has the fad
of the Rio Olympic games faded already??
It was surely this year’s Olympic trend, just like
kinesiotaping was in London 4 years ago. Cupping therapy
is a form of “myofascial decompression”. . . meaning it is
just another method athletes use to support the body’s
This isn’t the first time cupping therapy has hit the news.
Jennifer Aniston walked the red carpet several years ago
with cupping bruises on her back. Before that, the
professional tennis player Andy Murray discussed in
television interviews how he used cupping to successfully
address a chronic back injury.
Before we talk about what cupping is. . . let’s bust 5 MYTHS
to learn what cupping is NOT.
Myth #1: Cupping is a new form of therapy.
This one is furthest from the truth. Cupping was developed
thousands of years ago, although the techniques have been
Myth #2: Cupping is dangerous.
Old techniques using fire or cuts in the skin had their
obvious dangers. However, current techniques using plastic
cups causing less bruises and don’t pose any serious side
effects when performed by a trained clinician.
Myth #3: There is no proof that cupping works.
This may be partially true in the scientific community
because it is impossible to perform a blinded study on
cupping. However, there is strong anecdotal evidence
and thousands of years of reports that cupping is effective
when “traditional” methods do not seem to be working.
There is one strong study that found cupping significantly
reduced pain in people with low back issues.
Myth #4: Cupping only has superficial benefits.
The vacuum effect of cupping targets both the skin and
deeper tissues. It increases blood flow and expands
capillaries under the cups bringing oxygen to the underlying
tissues. It increases the amount of fluid entering and leaving
the tissues to bring more nutrients to the area.
It has been found to relax tense muscles, relieve stiffness,
decrease muscle cramping, and increase mobility of scar tissue.
These physiological effects result in improved recovery and
Myth #5: Cupping therapy is a stand alone treatment.
We believe that cupping is not enough. It needs to be a part of
a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce pain and improve
function. Stretching, corrective exercise, manual therapy, and
other modalities should all be considered by a qualified
So what is TRUE about cupping?
Cupping is a natural way to improve health, decrease pain, and
improve performance. It’s just another tool in our tool box to
keep you active, mobile and pain free.
Dr. Matthew Kahre, physical therapist at Peak Potential, tells us
“Therapeutic cupping is used in my physical therapy
practice as a soft tissue technique aimed at increasing
blood flow loosening tight/restricted muscles, and
Dr. Kahre has received specialized training to take this
traditional Chinese medicine practices and utilize it in recovery
for both the professional athlete and weekend warrior.
The most important thing you need to know. . .
find an experienced practitioner who is well trained in using
cupping tools, which will ensure you get the most benefit from
your sessions and aren’t at risk for injury.
In conclusion, cupping has withstood the test of time and will
continue to be utilized long after the buzz from the Rio Olympics
Have more questions or want to try cupping for your self?
Call us today (901-316-5456) to speak to one of our physical
therapists trained in cupping. Or you can always request a call
from us HERE on our website.