My name is Oliver Ody I’m a sports massage therapist here at Lushington chiropractic in Eastbourne. I’m always looking for extra treatment methods to offer my guests here at Lushington. I have recently completed a cupping therapy course.
What is cupping therapy?
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative therapy. The therapist places special cups onto the skin for a few minutes to create a suction effect. This suction or decompression helps with reducing pain and inflammation. It also improves blood flow, relaxation and general well-being. It is reported as being as old as 5,000 years by Imhotep the “god of medicine” and was adopted by Hippocrates.
Different types of cupping
There are 4 main types:
- Flash cupping – cups are applied and removed in quick succession in order to create pain relief. This is without leaving the associated red circles on traditional cupping (more on that later).
- Dry (static) cupping – probably the most popular method of cupping used. This is where cups are placed on problematic areas of the body and left for a few minutes. This decompresses the affected areas.
- Wet cupping – this is an Arabic method where the therapist slices the skin after cupping. This removes the blood that has been drawn into the cup. We will NOT be doing this!!
- Massage cupping – this is where the cups are applied and then moved around the body. This creates a massage effect as the cups draws the tissue up into the cup.
Doesn’t it leave bad bruises?
Flash and massage cupping generally do not. This is because they’re not applied to a specific area for long enough to cause bruises. It is more commonly found with the dry/static method. The dry/static method can leave dark red circles on the body where a negative pressure is caused. This results in capillary dilation or more commonly known as bruising. However, these are not actually bruises as there is no direct trauma being applied to the body. I use silicone cups instead of the traditional glass cups.
What does the bruising mean?
Generally speaking the ecchymosis that occurs on the body will be exaggerated over more dysfunctional (painful) tissues.This is because there is more stagnation is these tissues. This ecchymosis is like a major catalyst to the healing response of the body. Depending on the colouration of the bruising they tend to last a few days to a week.
Is cupping painful?
No, generally it’s pain free. Despite what looks like severe bruising these “bruises” are 100% pain-free to touch compared to a typical impact bruise. You can feel tightness in the area where the cup has suctioned the tissue during the treatment. It is very rarely painful. This means that it is great on someone with a fresh injury that’s very sore. Or someone who struggles dealing with the pain/discomfort with traditional sports massage. These are compressive remedies so applying pressure to the tissue to change it mechanically. It can be very painful. Cupping is decompressive so the reduction in pressure is pain relieving.
How does it work?
Research in cupping is in its infancy but the main mechanisms are mechanical decompression. This is where the layers of tissues are lifted allowing better flow of blood and lymph to the affected areas. This may also help relieve pressure on the nerve endings. Neuro-chemical effects are reported to respond to the mechanical stimulation, down grading the pain response. Neuro-sensory effects improve body awareness improving tactile acuity, perception and control. These are fancy words for saying you will move better and be more coordinated.
Book an appointment with me at Lushington Chiropractic by calling us on 01323 722499. We are conveniently located in Eastbourne town centre. It is very close to Eastbourne Railway Station and local bus stops.
Sports Massage Therapist.
Lushington Chiropractic, 30 Lushington Road, Eastbourne
Message from Lushington Chiropractic Clinic Eastbourne
Oly is a sports massage and rehabilitation therapist here at Lushington Chiropractic and he is also Personal Trainer at the University of Brighton Eastbourne Campus.
By oliver ody
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