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  • Writer's pictureFrancesco Holistic

Cupping Therapy: Myths, Truths & Benefits

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Cupping Therapy is gaining traction in Edmonton’s alternative medicine circles and rightfully so. The benefits of cupping are numerous including immediate pain relief in the back, increased circulation and the release of toxins through the lymphatic system.

Cupping has also been effective in treating migraines and headaches, Fibromyalgia and digestive issues, to name just a few more benefits.

Massage therapist at desk in front of computer

As a practising Massage Therapist and Acupuncturist in Edmonton, I hear a lot of myths about cupping therapy about what it actually does for the body, where it originated and what it treats.

I thought I would clear that up for my patients and anyone eager to try cupping for the first time.

Cupping Therapy: Myths, Truths & Cupping Benefits

Cupping is a highly beneficial therapy for chronic back pain, poor circulation, asthma, hypertension and numerous other conditions. But some people are hesitant to try cupping because of rumours and myths they might have heard about the therapy.

Person getting cupping on their back

Myth 1: All Cupping Leaves Huge Bruises All Over The Body

The Truth: There are actually two types of cupping: Stationary Cupping and Sliding Cupping.

Stationary Cupping does leave some bruising on your body, but the colour of these marks and the duration of how long they last depend on the amount of suction being used and your underlying tissues.

Massage therapist performing cupping on patient

In most cases, the colouring of the marks ranges from dark purple to light yellow and can last a few days to a week. This is important to remember if you are days from a big event or want to avoid any discolouration on the body.

Sliding Cupping does not leave any marks on the body. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons people prefer Sliding Cupping over Stationary Cupping.

Myth 2: Cupping Treatment Hurts

The Truth: Many people see the marks that cupping leaves behind and assume that it is a painful experience. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cupping is often just as enjoyable as a Swedish Massage appointment. Where it differs is what you feel.

Massage therapist and patient preparing for a cupping session

Instead of pressure being applied to your tissues in specific areas like massage, you feel a gentle suction as the cups pull up the tissue and pull away tension and pain from your body.

Myth 3: Cupping Only Treats Back Pain

The Truth: While cupping is a great tool to treat muscular and tissue issues that cause pain conditions and chronic pain, cupping also treats a wide variety of other conditions.

Person describing their pain to a massage therapist

One of the most common benefits of cupping I have witnessed firsthand is its ability to break down crepitus to allow for more range of motion and less tension in stubborn areas.

Myth 4: Cupping is a Fringe Alternative Health Treatment

The Truth: Cupping therapy may be new to a lot of Canadians, but it’s been around for ages. Cupping Therapy is from Chinese traditional medicine and has been used around the world for centuries.

Western medicine today views cupping as the ability to create space between the layers of your tissues to break up scar tissue, and remove toxins, fluid and dead cell debris.

As alternative medicine and a more holistic approach to one’s health becomes more popular, so does cupping.

Massage therapist performing cupping on patient

More than 79% of Canadians have used at least one complementary therapy at some point in their lives.

There has also been an uptick of celebrities endorsing the treatment with people like Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham and Justin Bieber all touting the benefits of cupping therapy.

Myth 5: Cupping is For Physical Conditions Only

The Truth: Just like massage therapy and acupuncture, cupping has mental health benefits, too. Cupping can help establish emotional balance and aid with things like stress, depression and anxiety.

Massage therapist and patient

Although more research is needed to support the practice of cupping for mental health reasons, there is a growing understanding it is indeed beneficial. A 2017 study found that cupping improved the quality of life in 88% of participants. As well, many athletes use cupping as a destresser or to eliminate anxiety before an athletic event.

Myofascial Cupping Treatment in Edmonton

Many of my patients have recently asked about cupping massage, cupping therapy and how it might benefit them. At my clinic, I specialize in myofascial cupping which is a form of sliding cupping.

Watch My Cupping Therapy Techniques Here

Patient getting cupping on back

Sliding cupping is when an ointment is rubbed on the skin first and the cups are gently moved across meridians or fascia/muscle planes along the body.

Myofascial cupping is great because it doesn’t leave any marks on the body yet provides the same benefits as Stationary Cupping. To book a consultation to see if cupping or cupping therapy is right for you, contact me here.

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