5 Myths about Cupping Therapy

August 9, 2016 by admin
  1. Cupping hurts. The bruise-like marks left from cupping therapy can look scary but unlike actual bruises they are completely painless. If you know someone who says they were cupped and it was painful it’s likely they had the technique done by someone who is not fully trained. The concept of cupping is pretty simple but it takes someone who is fully trained (either a licensed acupuncturist or another licensed healthcare provider who has taken a continuing education course) and experienced to know how to increase and decease suction using the flame as well as be fully informed of cautions and contraindications.
  2. There’s no science behind cupping. More and more research is being done on cupping and it runs the gamut on proof of effectiveness. This is primarily due to the nature of the treatment; it’s impossible to perform a double-blinded placebo controlled study on a physical modality. Conventional medicine is held back by the belief that if something is not provable, then that means it is false or ineffective. The bottom line is that cupping makes people feel better and that’s enough evidence for us.
  3. Cupping or myofascial decompression therapy is best performed by physical therapists. There is no one profession that has a claim on cupping and anyone who says so is guilty of extreme narcissism. Cupping can be performed well by a variety of holistic and physical medicine practitioners, the key is to make sure they have proper training and enough experience. I’m not kidding when I say there are people who watch youtube videos and then attempt to perform fire cupping on paying customers. Ask you practitioner where they were trained and how long they’ve been performing cupping, especially fire cupping which utilizes an open flame. Suction cupping which uses a pump vacuum is safe to be performed on your own although may be more effective when done by a professional.
  4. Cupping is just a fad. Various Asian and Eastern European countries have been using cupping as a sort of folk medicine for centuries. I remember a friend in acupuncture school who was from the Ukraine who said his grandmother had been cupping him since he was a young boy for different pains and illnesses. In many Chinese and Chinese-American households cupping has been passed down from generation to generation as a home-remedy. Cupping has withstood the test of time and will continue to be utilized after the buzz from the Rio Olympics dies down.
  5. Cupping therapy is enough to get you pain free and healthy. While cupping is very effective at improving oxygenation and blood flow to tissue it is typically not used as a stand-alone therapy. Cupping is instead part of a holistic treatment to reduce pain or improve function. Acupuncture, stretching, herbs, corrective exercises, manual therapy, stress management, dietary changes and strengthening should all be considered by a qualified healthcare provider along with cupping in order to effectively fix a problem.

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