Cupping Therapy

North Boulder Physical Therapy, Boulder, Colorado

Ever since cupping therapy, or myofascial decompression, received widespread media coverage during the 2016 Olympics, clients have come to our North Boulder Physical Therapy locations to experience its benefits. At the games, a number of swimmers used this therapy technique to treat overused muscles and even injuries. The telltale red rings of this method are what caught everyone’s attention.

So, What Is Cupping?

Despite the recent attention, cupping therapy is actually an ancient medical treatment. Localized suction is used to stimulate the soft tissues, release toxins and support circulation for blood and lymph vessels in the treated area. This can provide a range of healing benefits for chronic pain, migraines and more. At North Boulder Physical Therapy, we often use cupping to release tension and restriction in your skin and muscles.

Want to Experience Cupping Therapy?

Contact North Boulder Physical Therapy Today.

Physical & Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is not a used in a silo. In fact, it’s just one of many techniques we use at North Boulder Physical Therapy to rehabilitate musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses. Let’s say your shoulder is tight, fibrotic and in pain. You also have limited movement in your neck and shoulder. Cupping therapy may be used to loosen muscles, while manual therapy methods and specific exercises will help you restore motion.

By combining therapies, we’re able to provide our patients with a holistic approach that can help improve mobility, stability, and movement patterns.

Conditions Treated by Cupping Therapy

  • Muscle, skin or myofascial areas with decreased mobility
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • ITB syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Post op scar mobilization

The Cupping Therapy Technique

At our North Boulder Physical Therapy offices, cupping therapy is only performed by one of our highly-trained therapists. This safe procedure is pretty straightforward and you should be comfortable throughout. Some patients say it’s even enjoyable. Basically, a cup and pump create mild suction on the area to be treated, pulling up the tissue. After 3-8 minutes, we’ll remove the cup. For larger areas, we may use multiple cups at the same time. Your therapist may also facilitate tightness release by gently moving the cup over your skin.

Is Cupping Therapy Safe?

A common misconception is that cupping causes bruises, thus the red rings. However, bruising is a sign of ruptured red blood cells. This is NOT what cupping does. Cupping therapy brings red, oxygenated blood to the skin’s surface in a phenomenon known as ecchymosis. This is completely normal and will fade in a few days, up to a week. It’s possible that ecchymosis may not even occur after therapy.

A Few Precautions

While safe, cupping should not be performed on patients who are either frail and thin, or obese. At North Boulder Physical Therapy, we will also not perform cupping if the skin is damaged or fragile. We will not cup over tattoos. And finally, cupping should not be performed during pregnancy, on patients with active cancer or anyone on blood thinners. You can trust that we will only provide cupping therapy if it’s safe and has been identified as the most appropriate method for your condition.