Some cupping therapy questions answered

Steven Mui, acupuncturist and cupping therapy professional at Aurora Health Center in Fond du Lac, Wis., weighs in on some popular questions. If you are interested in trying cupping therapy, Mui recommends seeking a qualified health professional.

If healing your body naturally is appealing to you, you may have heard of cupping therapy – when a professional uses suction from cups on your skin.

What is cupping therapy used for?

“Cupping therapy is good for any sort of muscular pain, so if you’re an athlete or doing a lot of physical activity, it’s a good idea to try cupping,” Mui says. “Also, it’s good for people who may have some chronic pain issues, like shoulder pain and back pain. It’s been shown to be effective for treating neck pain as well.”

What should you expect with cupping therapy?

“Because of the suction from the silicone cups, bruising is common, but it usually goes away in a couple days,” explains Mui. “There is little to no pain with cupping. I describe it like an inside-out massage.”

How does it work?

“It promotes circulation to the area,” says Mui. “Our body has an amazing ability to heal itself, but it needs oxygen and nutrients to do that. The way our body gets oxygen and nutrients is through blood supply. With tension, the circulation tends to not be as good in that area, so cupping is one way to release tension and release blood flow to the problem area so the body can heal itself.”

How long does it take to see effects?

“Some people will get relief the very first time. With other people, it might take up to six to eight treatments. Each session lasts about 10 minutes,” says Mui.

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