Dry Cupping is a treatment that dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. During treatments, therapists were known to apply glass, bamboo, or in modern times silicone cups to the skin for a few minutes to create suction.
Dry cupping can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as:
- Muscle pain and tension
- Reduced joint movement
- Back pain and sciatica
- Stress and anxiety
During a dry cupping treatment, the cups are placed over several areas of the body to create a vacuum. The vacuum lifts the soft tissue and creates an upward stretch within the muscle and associated fascia. This in turn helps to increase blood flow and induces a stretch effect, which results in a reduction in muscle tension and associated pain.
The cups will either be left in a static position or moved to provide a deep tissue massage effect. When the cups are moved, they create a gliding effect along the skin.
Dry cupping works well in conjunction with traditional sports and deep tissue massage, as the lifting effect from the vacuum created by the cups works synergistically with the downward pressure application of a sports or deep tissue massage.
How does Dry Cupping Work?
Initially, the vacuum application of the cup pulls blood into the area being treated below the skin. This leads to the affected tissue becoming saturated with fresh blood. This saturation can often leave a circular mark, which looks a bit like a love bite mark. The mark will usually disappear after a day or two and recovery improves on subsequent treatments.
The body reacts with a process called neovascularisation. This is where the body creates new blood vessel formations in response to blood being drawn into the tissue. This leads to an increase in nutrient and oxygen content within the vacuumed area of the body.
The vacuum effect also causes the soft tissue to experience micro-trauma and separation between the tissue layers. The body then responds to this micro-trauma by stimulating an inflammatory response, which is the body’s natural process of healing. This causes the body to release white blood cells, platelets, and fibroblasts into the bloodstream and body aid healing.
Dry cupping also causes a relaxation effect within the muscle, which results in improved range of motion and performance.
Benefits Of Dry Cupping:
Dry Cupping helps aid injuries to soft tissue and reduce pain or discomfort by:
- Increasing localized circulation
- Increasing oxygenation and nutrient content within the tissue
- Removing stagnant blood and waste products
- Re-initiating the healing process to micro-trauma
- Stretches fascia and connective tissue, which leads to a relaxation response