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Cupping has certainly become a very popular modality for treatment following the photos of Michael Phelps at the RIO Olympics.  Whilst currently quite trendy it’s not new.  Cupping has been around for thousands of years and is an ancient form of alternative medicine where special cups (glass, bamboo or plastic) are placed on your skin to create suction.

One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward.  The cups can either be left in one position or glided across the skin for a massage like effect in order to help reduce pain, inflammation, increase blood flow, aid in relaxation as well as providing a type of deep tissue massage.

There are different types of cupping (Dry & Wet) but a modern version that we use here at Powerhouse uses a rubber pump to create a vacuum inside the cup.  The vacuum causes your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand.  You will usually feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup but often this sensation is relaxing and soothing.

Cupping is generally safe as long as you go to a trained health professional, however a few side effects from the cups can occur:

  • Mild discomfort
  • Bruises
  • The skin discolouration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, but is rarely painful.

Reasons to try cupping:

  •  Cupping provides relief for many conditions and can be a useful tool when treating people
  •  Athletes use cupping as a secret weapon (Michael Phelps, Andy Murray)
  •  And if all else fails, why not get on the celebrity bandwagon and give it a try!

Join the cupping enthusiasts! Get in touch with us and find out if cupping is a suitable treatment for you.