Our Blog

We hope you enjoy the information we are sharing.  
Please comment and let us know what you think.


8/18/16 3:16 PM

What is cupping:  

Cupping is an alternative form of treatment which involves placing a cup; whether plastic, glass or silicone, on the affected area.  It can be used to treat conditions such as inflammation, soft tissue restrictions, pain relief/reduction, and trigger point relief, by improving tissue mobility a

nd promoting circulation.  Cupping works by lifting the skin away from the tissues below; bringing new blood flow and anti-inflammatory properties to the area, assisting in your body's natural healing process.

Types of treatment:

Typically treatment will consist of either static cupping, dynamic cupping, or a combination of the two.

Static cupping is performed by placing the cup on an affected area and leaving it for 3-8 minutes.  This time is usually based on patient tolerance and goal of treatment.  (This will create the typical suction bruise that was seen during the Olympics.)  Static cupping is beneficial because it is point specific; meaning we can treat exactly the area that is bothering you, making it a very effective treatment for trigger points.  

Dynamic cupping is performed by attaining suction in the cup, and by using a medium, such as massage lotion, then moving the cup along the muscle, or area being treated.  Dynamic cupping can be painful, but is effective for soft tissue restrictions, myofascial restrictions/release, and increases circulation.  Treatment usually lasts anywhere from 5-15 minutes, based on the size of the area being treated, and treatment goals.

Will it hurt?

Short answer: Maybe

Long answer:  Using cups as treatment requires knowledge of the muscles, where they begin and end, and what their function is.  It is important that the therapist and patient communicate if the treatment becomes “too painful”.  The amount of suction can be tailored, to a degree, to patient tolerance.  There will likely be discomfort with the area being treated due to the tissue pathology that is present; meaning:  If the area we are treating doesn’t really need the cupping, it won’t be very painful.  If the area we are treating does need the cupping, it will likely be uncomfortable due to the restrictions in tissue.

Is the bruising okay?

Yes - bruising means we have effectively drawn dead blood cells and inflammatory properties to one central location, making it easier for your body to dispose of them.  It also draws healing agents to the area, alerting your body to the “problem” and allowing for a more expedient healing process.

Cupping is a fairly safe treatment technique, but should only be performed by someone who has an understanding of the musculoskeletal system, your specific condition, your past medical history, and your personal goals for post-treatment success. It is offered currently in our Onondaga Hill Location.



We think you might also be interested in...


Massage Therapy & Physical Therapy: Can They Work Together?


Is Crossfit Too Risky?


Quick Guide: When to use Heat vs Ice


Corrective Taping: The McConnell Method


Written by Taryn Bader.

Taryn Bader, PT is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Onondaga Hill location.

Topics: tips, risk of injury, cupping, recovery