Physical therapy is one of the important healthcare choices you could make in your life. It is an affordable, safe, and effective way to manage your pain, and at the same time, comes with long-lasting health benefits. Cupping is one of the forms of physical therapy you can undergo to alleviate your pain, and inflammation. It is not only therapy but also a type of mild to deep-tissue massage that will give you value for your money.

However, to achieve the best possible outcome of cupping therapy our skilled physical and massage therapists are ready to do the work! Professional services minimize the chances of experiencing side effects or contracting other infections. If you are in Las Vegas, Nevada, and wish to try cupping therapy, our licensed therapists at Suarez Physical Therapy are at your service. We are here to provide you with a personalized Care.Experience including healing, strengthening, and confidence building to improve your quality of life. We will listen to you and work with you to establish your therapy goals and then work as a team to help you achieve those goals via targeted, personalized care. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for our services.

Cupping Therapy Overview

Cupping therapy is one of the oldest and most effective methods to release toxins from different body organs and tissue. It’s a technique in which your therapist places special kinds of cups on your skin to form suction. This makes the tissue underneath the cup draw up and swell, leading to an increased blood flow to the affected area. Increased blood flow beneath the cups siphons toxins and impurities from the neighboring organs and tissues and brings them to the surface to be eliminated.

Originally, cupping was conducted by use of animal horns, hence the name horn treatment. As time passed, the cups were made from bamboo, then later ceramic. Primarily, the suction was created using heat. The cups were initially heated using fire then applied to the patient’s skin. In the process of their cooling, these cups drew the skin inside. Currently, cupping is usually done with glass cups that are round like a ball and open at one end.

During cupping, a licensed therapist will place the cups over several sites on your skin to form a vacuum. The pressure lifts the soft tissues and creates an upward stretch within the muscle and superficial fascia. The vacuum lift helps increase blood flow and induces a stretch effect that reduces muscle tension and associated pain. During cupping, the cups may be gently moved (i.e. side/side, circular, up/down motions) to give a deep tissue massage effect or be left in a static position.

Different Types of Cupping

There are two different forms of cupping. At Suarez Physical Therapy, we only offer dry cupping. With dry cupping, the therapist places the cups over several sites on your skin to form a vacuum that lifts the soft tissues and creates an upward stretch within the muscle and superficial fascia. The vacuum lift helps increase blood flow and induces a stretch effect that reduces muscle tension and associated pain.

Cupping Therapy Indications

Cupping therapy is indicated for both patients suffering from different illnesses and healthy people, too (anti-aging treatment, rejuvenation purposes). Patients with localized conditions such as neck pain, knee pain, lower back pain, and headache can benefit from this kind of therapy. Systematic ailments that have been treated using cupping therapy are:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Mental disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Migraines

Apart from treating health conditions, cupping can also be helpful after sporting events or any kind of activity or exercise. It’s effective to undergo cupping after exercising since it helps expel waste products from your muscles and tissues. During exercising, waste products and acids like lactic acid will build up. When waste products accumulate in the body, they can lead to muscle tightness and soreness. Cupping helps lift tissues and improve blood flow. Enhanced blood flow drains out acids and waste products from these tissues, replacing them with nutrients and oxygen.

Cupping is also used in treating tight muscles. It’s beneficial since it alleviates tightness without having to apply a large amount of pressure. The cupping therapy technique lifts tissues and relaxes the muscles. This enables the muscle fibers to move slightly apart. Enabling muscle fibers to move slightly apart instead of being tightly crammed together will increase the muscle area’s flexibility and movement range.

Lastly, cupping therapy is also helpful in treating high tone. High muscle tone is the primary reason for muscles to tighten up. When your muscles tighten up, tissues will become rigid and stiff, limiting movement. Cupping therapy releases high tone by increasing the soft tissue temperature, blood circulation, decreasing tone, breaking down adhesions.

Preparing for Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a long-practiced form of treatment that could help alleviate the symptoms and signs of both chronic and temporary conditions. Like many other therapy treatments, note that there has not been any extensive research conducted without biasness to evaluate its effectiveness fully.

In case you opt to undergo cupping therapy, consider it a compliment to your present physical therapy visits and not a substitute. The following are the various things you should consider before starting your cupping sessions:

  • What health conditions does your cupping therapist specialize in treating?
  • Is the medical facility where cupping will be done clean? Does your therapist implement safety measures?
  • What cupping method does the therapist use?
  • Does your therapist have any qualifications?
  • Do you have a medical condition that can benefit from cupping therapy?

Before starting any alternative therapy treatment, remember to have your physical therapist inform your doctor that you plan to include it in your treatment plan.

Other steps you should take in preparation for cupping include:

  • Hydrate yourself— water is necessary, particularly for the lymphatic system. Cupping therapy supports the lymphatic system. The system clears cellular waste away from the body. Therefore, for it to do this effectively, it requires a lot of water.
  • Do not shave the site where cupping therapy will be conducted within four hours of the treatment. The therapist does not mind the hair, and the skin will benefit from this.
  • Do not exfoliate aggressively— to exfoliate means to remove the dead skin. Exfoliation will make your skin more sensitive. If you have undergone exfoliation treatment, wait for a few days before undergoing cupping therapy.
  • Recover from sunburns— when you undergo cupping therapy, it feels as though the therapy site is warmer than usual. Neither the additional heat nor the cup will feel comfortable on sunburned skin. Treat the sunburns by applying soothing aloe. Then wait until the skin has recuperated before you go to your cupping appointment.

Cupping Treatment Procedure and What to Expect

During cupping therapy, your therapist will place a cup on your skin that creates suction using rubber pumps. The air in it forms a vacuum, which draws the muscle and skin upwards into it. Your skin might turn red since your blood vessels are responding to pressure change.

Your therapist picks cupping sites according to the ailment they are treating. The cups are usually placed on sites that have a lot of muscles. The back is the most common area where cups are applied, followed by the chest abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and legs.

As per different research studies, it’s recommended that cups must last on the skin for not more than five to ten minutes if the therapist is using the dry cupping method The residual marks left after cupping disappear within one to ten days after treatment.

Sometimes, cupping is done alongside functional dry needling (FDN) treatments. To achieve the best outcome, you may want to eat only light foods or fast for between 2-3 hours before undergoing the treatment.

Pre & Post Cupping Procedure

The following should be done before the cupping treatment procedure:

  • You have to undergo proper counseling with your physical therapist about the process and post-treatment marks.
  • You must fill out a consent form.
  • The skin surface, where treatment will occur, should be cleaned & disinfected before the therapy is conducted.
  • The therapist must also check if your skin is sensitive.
  • Your therapist must check for wounds, cracks, and higher than the normal local temperature.
  • After the process, the therapist should apply antiseptic cream or moisturizer. This helps prevent possible infections.

Post- Cupping After Care

For you to achieve the best possible outcome of cupping therapy, it’s critical to adhere to a few guidelines. Here is what you should do after the procedure:

  • Drink plenty of water— water helps to flush your lymphatic system of the cellular waste that cupping therapy releases from your organs and tissues.
  • Rest— you might feel more tired than usual or have flu-like signs and symptoms after undergoing this therapy (headache, body ache, etc.). This is only a temporary reaction by your immune system to the cellular waste that the treatment helps release.
  • Keep warm— try covering the sites where cupping therapy was done.

For four to six hours after the cupping therapy, you should ensure you are not exposed to the following:

  • Intense exercise
  • Cold & windy conditions
  • Saunas, hot showers / tubs, and intense air conditioning— after cupping therapy, your skin becomes more sensitive to temperature in the sites where the cups were fixed. Allow your skin some time to recuperate. If possible, shower with filtered water to avoid reintroducing unnecessary chemicals to your skin.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, sugary drinks and foods, processed meats, and dairy

Who is the Right Candidate for Cupping Therapy?

Cupping is a very safe and easy technique to practice but, it’s completely unregulated. Even so, it is not recommended for everybody. Extra caution must be observed for these groups:

  • Seniors— the skin tends to be more and more fragile as we grow older. Therefore, its important to consult with the cupping therapist for senior patients. Additionally, any medicine the senior may be takin could have harmful effects as well.
  • Children— minors below four years old should not undergo cupping therapy. On the other hand, older children ought to undergo this treatment only for very brief periods.
  • Pregnant women— If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t cup the lower back and abdomen.
  • Women who are currently on their monthly periods.

Additionally, avoid cupping therapy if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Ulcer or open wound
  • Sunburn
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Acute infection
  • Fractured bone / dislocated joints
  • Severe anemia
  • Skin inflammation
  • Varicose veins
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Cancer
  • Hemophilia
  • An internal organ disorder/failure (hepatic failure, renal failure, heart failure)
  • Cracked or dehydrated skin
  • Or if you are using blood thinners

Cupping Therapy Effects

Cupping affects various body parts positively. Let us take a look:

  1. Muscles— releases tight muscles, stimulates lymphatic drainage and blood flow.
  2. Skin— better functioning of sweat and sebaceous glands, improved metabolism in skin tissue, enhanced skin resistance, and improved healing.
  3. Digestive system— increased secretion and peristalsis of digestive fluids, better excretion, and digestion.
  4. Joints—an increased secretion of synovial fluid and blood flow.
  5. Nervous system— stimulates the skin’s sensory nerves and improves ANS.
  6. Blood— enhanced blood circulation, enhanced functioning the red and white blood cells.

Cupping Therapy Benefits

The skin is your body’s largest organ and it reflects imbalances. Therefore, it stands to reason that therapy treatments targeting the skin come with several rewards. The following benefits aren’t exhaustive but, they highlight how cupping can affect your mentally and physically.

Promotes Relaxation

One of the best common cupping advantages is relaxation. The sensation that this therapy gives is like that of a massage, making it incredibly relaxing and pleasurable. Most patients experience a warm tingling sensation, which lasts a long time after the therapy ends. Cupping also has a sedating effect on the nervous system, making it helpful when handling conditions like anxiety, high blood pressure, tension headache, insomnia, and fatigue.

Eases the Tense Muscles

Tense Muscles could come with several side effects that can range from stress and headaches to back and neck pain. Cupping softens underlying muscle tissue and breaks up the knotted areas, leading to more flexible and looser muscles. When the body is tension-free, your mind will easily follow suit.

Helps Relieve Pain

Since cupping therapy has the same impact on muscles as a massage, it is useful for relieving muscle pain because it loosens tissues and promotes healing. If you suffer from a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia, cupping can be beneficial when used along with physical therapy and medication.

Encourages Detoxification

Naturally, your body flushes out the toxins you accumulate. This usually happens via your lymph fluid. Cupping therapy helps in this process since it stimulates lymph and blood flow. Enhancing the supply of oxygenated, healthy blood to the skin and muscles enables the lymph to carry away toxins and brings nourishment.

Cash Pay Cupping Services

We have therapists who use cupping in a more cosmetic nature. For instance, most say that one of the primary benefits of cupping is its capability to lessen cellulite. The theory behind this advantage is that the suction boosts circulation and provides drainage, which loosens dimples or adhesions.

Cupping Therapy Side Effects

Cupping therapy is a low-risk kind of treatment, which doesn’t have many side effects. Side effects typically occur immediately after or during the treatment. You may experience dizziness, nausea, sweating, or lightheadedness during the treatment. After treatment, the skin around the cup’s rim may be irritated and marked in a circular pattern. You could also feel dizzy or lightheadedness shortly after the session or experience pain at the incision sites. Additionally, there might be a risk of contracting infections after the therapy. However, this risk is preventable if your therapist follows the correct techniques for cleaning the skin and controlling infections after and before the session. Other side effects can include:

  • Headaches
  • Burns from the heated cups
  • Fatigue
  • Soreness or muscle tension
  • Itching of the skin
  • Bruising (hematoma)

Your therapist will use clean and disinfected equipment to prevent any and protect themselves against carious ailments such as hepatitis.

Should you have any of the side effects we have mentioned, consult your physical therapist or massage therapist here at Suarez Physical Therapy.

Making the Cupping Marks Disappear Faster

Once you have undergone cupping therapy, the skin will be left with circular marks of different colors ranging from deep red, purple to pink. Your friends may tease you, saying that you appear as though you fought with an octopus. Do not mind them. Wear the badges with pride because you are doing something good for your body and wellbeing.

Skin discolorations that occur due to cupping therapy fade with time. Some could fade after only a few hours, whereas others may take as long as two weeks before they disappear entirely. These discolorations are related to your body’s health at the time of therapy. If you would like the marks to fade faster, you have to do two things— rest and hydrate. And remember, every patient’s body responds to cupping therapy differently.

Contact a Qualified Physical Therapist Specialized in Cupping Near Me

If you would like to try something safe that can help with the various aches, pains, and ailments you have, cupping therapy may be the option. Suarez Physical Therapy is a regulated medical facility. Thus, we comply with legislation and contraindications indicated within the facility’s scope. Additionally, our therapists have undergone advanced training which gives them the skills to provide you with the highest standards of care. If you wish to undergo cupping therapy or have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment process, please call us at 702-368-6778 to talk to one of our therapists.