An Overview of Cupping Therapy for Pain Management, Athletic Support,
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An Overview of Cupping Therapy for Pain Management, Athletic Support, and Myofascial Improvement

An Overview of Cupping Therapy for Pain Management, Immunity Support, and Digestion Improvement

If you’re looking for natural ways to improve your health and well-being, you’ve probably seen the word “cupping” pop up on the web. The term “cupping therapy” is trending on social media platforms, on search engines, and in tons of magazines.

If you use the gym, you may have even heard fellow gym-goers talking about cupping. With so much buzz, there's no doubt your interests have been piqued, but before you proceed and start looking for spas that offer “cupping massage near me”, learning more about why this type of therapy is important. 

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While cupping therapy has only come into the mainstream recently, it’s actually been around for a long, long time. So, let’s dive in and explore this natural form of alternative medicine. 

What is Cupping? 

Cupping therapy, more commonly referred to simply as “cupping” is a centuries-old practice. Opinions regarding the origins of cupping vary, as some believe that it was pioneered by the ancient Egyptians and others credit the Chinese, yet still others think that it was developed by the ancient Greeks. Whoever actually developed this form of therapy, one thing’s for sure: cupping has deep roots throughout history and has certainly played an important part in health care. 

Here’s an overview of the connection of cupping to different cultures throughout history. 

Cupping in Los Angeles

Ancient China

The evidence of cupping can be traced all the way back to the Han Dynasty. The famed herbalist and alchemist who lived during the Jin Dynasty, Ge Hong, is believed to be the first to introduce the therapy to the Chinese. Hong strongly held that when cupping and acupuncture (another ancient form of alternative medicine) are combined, more than ½ of the ailments that plague humans can be cured. 

Ancient Egypt

Where to get cupping done

References to cupping therapy were documented in the Ebers Papyrus, the oldest medical textbook that dates back to ancient Egypt. This form of therapy was used by the ancient Egyptians to treat a whole host of ailments, including fever, pain, inflammation, poor appetite, vertigo, and even menstrual imbalances. Furthermore, drawings of cupping were found on the Temple of Kom Ombo, one of the oldest cities in all of Egypt. 

Ancient Greece

The ancient Green physician, Hippocrates, who is hailed as the “Father of Modern Medicine”, was a strong advocate of cupping. He used the practice to treat a great many internal diseases, as well as physical issues, such as angina and menstrual irregularities. 

Recovery with cupping therapy

 Alternative healing

With the exception of natural healers and holistic care providers, cupping therapy was pretty unknown until recent years thanks to celebrities and Olympic athletes. This form of alternative therapy has come into the spotlight and gone mainstream; however, while it might seem pretty new among the general public, cupping has been practiced for a long, long time; thousands of years, in fact.

One of the most notable benefits of alternative medicines is that they don’t pose the unwanted and often dangerous risks and side effects that are so commonly associated with the use of pharmaceutical drugs and surgery.

As a matter of fact, there’s pretty much no downside to trying natural therapies, including cupping as studies have found that they can provide significant benefits, including stronger immunity and a faster rate of healing; the best part is, no medications are needed. 

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Benefits of cupping for physical therapy

The reason why cupping therapy is an effective treatment for a wide range of ailments is because the practice expands the capillaries and boosts the amount of fluid that enters and exists the connective tissues that lie beneath the skin creating local circulation.

Furthermore, evidence suggests that cupping promotes relaxation and blood flow, which in turn helps to reduce stress levels, muscle tension and the negative impact that comes along with them. 

Cupping work is often performed by a variety of healers, from physical therapists to holistic healers, they all agree on the many benefits cupping promotes. Whether you're suffering from neck pain, shoulder pain or have poor range of motion; cupping will promote healing and lymphatic drainage within the affected area.

The cups are placed and create suction using a rubber pump to stimulate soft tissue dysfunction. Dry cupping techniques can vary, your physical therapists may have you lay down and relax while the cups pull blood vessels to the desires area or they may have you mimic movement patterns to enhance blood flow.

Cupping therapy for back pain

Pain reduction.

  • Pain relief is one of the most common reasons why people use cupping therapy when they’re seeking natural, safe, and effective ways to ease their pain; particularly joint and muscle pain. Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine revealed that this form of back cupping dramatically decrease the pain in people who suffered from lower back pain, and that the pain relief that cupping provided was far greater than traditional methods, such as prescription medications.

Athletic Recovery

  • Athletes are known to rely on cupping therapy as a way to enhance their energy levels, to improve their performance, to ease their aches and pains, and to loosen muscle stiffness. This low risk therapy is perfect for any athlete who needs treatment through season.

Improved Relaxation

  • Cupping has also been found to ease physical ailments, as well as to enable individuals to pass into a state of heightened relaxation, as it has a sedation effect on the central nervous system. The impact of cupping on relaxation is similar to the impact promoted by acupuncture in order to help reduce stress responses amongst patients. As such, it helps to serve as an anxiety and depression reducer. 

Myofascial Decompression + Cupping therapy

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There's nothing better than pairing your cupping therapy with other therapies to enhance your relief. Myofascial massage is another method to enhance blood flow and tension relief within a desired are.

This manual therapy is often performed by physical therapists and massage therapists in order to relieve pain using trigger points. Contrary to a deep tissue massage, this therapy targets tension relief specifically caused by fascia, a layer of tissue connected to your muscles. 


With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why cupping is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine. If you’re interested in learning about other benefits or you’d like to schedule an appointment to give it a try yourself, give us a call today!