Some Important Things to Know Before You Try Back Cupping
Are you suffering from chronic lower back pain? Have you sustained an injury in your upper back and it’s left you in agony? Whatever your particular situation may be, if you’re looking for a way to ease the discomfort in your back that doesn’t involve the use of pharmaceutical medications, but rather that is completely natural and that has been used as a way to ease aches and pains for a long time, then you might be thinking about giving back cupping a try.
Cupping for back pain is an age-old practice that has been found to provide highly effective results. If you’re thinking about scheduling a cupping massage near me, before you do, there’s no doubt you have some questions. Below, you’ll find an overview of cupping therapy so that you can make an educated decision and take charge of your health and well-being, which, in a time, when the world of health care is so upside-down and nonsensical, is more important than ever before.
First, let’s explain what cupping is. It’s kind of like an inverse massage. It’s an centuries-old practice that is believed to have originated in China, and was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece, the Middle East, and throughout Europe. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that natural wellness practitioners, such as acupuncturists and holistic health care providers, embraced and touted the benefits that it offers.
The process involves applying cups (usually made of glass, but can also be made of bamboo or earthen materials), which are filled with a flammable material, such as essential oils, are ignited, and then extinguished. The cups are then placed on strategic points on the body (such as the lower back, along the spine, shoulders, etc.), the heat creates a suction-like effect that draws the skin and the fascia (the connective tissue underneath the skin) and your muscles up and away from the skeletal system.
The purpose of cupping
The idea behind cupping therapy is that the suction that it creates helps to improve the health of the fascia, which can offer a whole host of benefits, including:
- Improved flexibility
- Quicker muscle recovery
- Increased energy levels
- Enhanced blood flow
- Reduced inflammation
- Pain relief
- Improved respiratory health
- Faster rate of recovery from colds, flus, etc.
- Improved energy levels
There are different types of cupping
There are a few different types of cupping, which include:
- Dry cupping. This is the most commonly employed method of back cupping. The cup is heated directly or the open end is held near a flame, heating up the inside of the cup. The cup is then placed on the surface of the skin, and as the air inside cools, the fascia and connective tissue is drawn up into the cup.
- Wet cupping. This method is also known as Hijama. It involves the use of dry cupping during the first few minutes of the session, and then the cups are removed and the therapist makes tiny incisions in the skin. The cups are re-heated and placed over the incision, and as the skin is drawn up, so is blood, which helps to eliminate toxins.
- Massage cupping. Also referred to as “glide cupping”, this method involves moving the cup over the targeted area, such as the lower or upper back, or around the spine, combining massage and cupping in one.
- Needle cupping. This method involves using acupuncture needles along with the cups. The needle is inserted in the skin, and a heated cup is placed over the needle.
- Silicone cupping. With this method, silicone cups with pumps on the end are used. The cups are placed over the skin, and the pump is used to create suction that draws the skin up into the cup.
It’s pretty quick
Cupping therapy doesn’t take very long. In fact, when compared to massage therapy, which can take upwards of 60 minutes or more to provide effective results, cupping therapy takes a fraction of the time. From start to finish, the average back cupping session takes about 10 minutes. Of course, it does depend on the type of cupping method, as wet cupping or needle cupping may take longer.
It might feel weird
A lot of first-timers are afraid that cupping will hurt, which is understandable. In reality, however, many people are pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn’t hurt at all; however, it can feel a bit strange. It feels just like you’d expect a suction cup pulling up on your skin and muscles to feel like. Some people have said that it doesn’t feel weird at all, but rather, have reported that it feels quite soothing and relaxing.
Cupping marks fade within a few days
One of the biggest concerns that people have about cupping is the marks that it leaves behind. There’s no denying that cupping therapy creates circular reddish-purple marks on the skin, and those spots can be pretty unsightly. However, take comfort in knowing that those marks won’t remain forever; in fact, for most people, they’re completely gone within 7 to 10 days.
Cupping offers lots of benefits
Cupping therapy, as mentioned, has been practiced for centuries, and as such, it has long been studied. It has been found that this type of therapy does, in fact, offer numerous benefits that are related to overall physical health and well-being. Some of the most notable benefits of this type of therapy include:
- Improved blood flow. Cupping draws the blood closer to the surface of the skin, which helps to increase blood flow at the treatment site.
- Increased circulation. Of course, improved blood flow also increases circulation. The more oxygen-rich blood flows through your body, the better your health will be and you will feel.
- Reduced scar tissue. If you’ve had surgery on your back, cupping therapy may be able to help reduce the amount of scar tissue. It softens the scar tissue and makes it more flexible and pliable, which helps to minimize pain and improve mobility.