Is Chinese Cupping Safe? And Effective?

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If you are following us on google or social media, you’ve been seeing quite a few photos and posts highlighting our cupping therapy recently.  

It was popularized by celebrities and Michael Phelps back in 2016 and although we primarily do traditional acupuncture, we integrate other therapies for the optimal benefit of the patient, of course, when indicated. 

Cupping is an ancient therapy and was established as an official therapeutic practice in the 1950s across hospitals in China after research conducted by Chinese and former Soviet Union acupuncturists confirmed cupping’s effectiveness. 

Before the 1950s, cupping had also been practiced as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery.   

What is it?  

It’s a local suction that leaves circular discolorations on the skin, drawing toxins and moves circulation throughout the blood vessels.  The intention is to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface. The discoloration is due to broken vessels just beneath the skin. Suction is applied to the skin for a few minutes (in our office usually no more than 3 minutes).  

The old Chinese medical theory maintains that pain results from the congestion, stagnation, and blockage of Qi, or vital energy, vital fluids, lymph, phlegm, and blood. Chinese cupping is, therefore, a natural method of breaking up the blockage and removing it to restore this natural flow of energy throughout your body. 


Can you get hurt during cupping? 
Cupping is generally safe. If the cups are left too long, discomfort and additional bruising may occur, leaving marks lasting longer than a few days. (Keep in mind, a patient with nutritional deficiencies may bruise more easily with longer-lasting discoloration). 


The Meridian Approach and the Musculoskeletal Approach. 
Cups can be applied along the meridians which will align and balance the qi. This targets specific health conditions. Musculoskeletal cupping (which is used in our chiropractic patients) targets the taut, hypertonic bands of muscles, trigger points and strategic muscle groups which are restricting joint motion and causing pain.  At our office, we can do both. 


Dr. Zair is a trained and certified Acupuncturist and will use the most effective technique suitable for the patient.  

We explain our cupping methods on the Acupuncture Cupping page of our website. Click over to see the photos and descriptions of how we administer cupping in our office!  




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