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BLOG: How cupping therapy reduces pain and discomfort

Cupping therapy has been around for thousands of years and can be dated back to ancient China and Egypt.


It was originally used to remove blood and poison from the body, but clinical advancements over time have increased its application to many areas of the body.



A woman in a blue hoody holds two plastic cups used for cupping therapy
Louise Cope shows the cups used for cupping therapy


Cupping therapy is a technique often used by physio therapists and sports therapists.


The cups were originally made from metal and ceramic, however they have now progressed to glass, plastic and silicone. I work with plastic and silicone as they rely on manual suction via a pump to create the vacuum required, which in turn draws the tissue up when applied to the surface of the skin.


Reducing pain


Cupping combines massage strokes and negative pressure to elevate, separate and stretch underlying soft tissues, usually targeting the legs, arms, shoulders, neck and back. Once the areas of muscular tension have been located, plastic cups are applied over the surface of the skin in a gliding motion. This is to help reduce symptoms of pain and discomfort.


Depending on the severity of the muscle tension, the cups will be left on the skin for either a short or longer amount of time. Even if the cups are not left on the skin for a long period of time, the treatment is still very effective.


Cupping has many benefits that have great effect on the body. It increases blood circulation, raises skin temperature, promotes metabolism within the skin tissue, better functioning of sweat and sebaceous glands and encourages the dispersal of stagnant blood.


Aching muscles


The treatment also helps stiff and aching muscles by activating secretion of synovial fluids. This releases joint stiffness such as frozen shoulder. It can also be used to alleviate pain often caused by nerves.


During the process of the treatment, a slight pinching and lifting sensation may be felt. However, the treatment is relatively pain free.


One side effect is that it may leave temporary marks on the surface of the skin where the cups have been placed. But I can assure you that these should disappear after a short period of time.

If you would like to enjoy the benefits of cupping therapy for yourself, please get in touch.



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