Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy experienced massive exposure in the media due to the 2016 Olympics. The swimmers, in particular, were treated with this technique to assist resolution of overuse and muscular injury issues between races. The reddened skin rings were a curiosity to people watching the games, and many of our clients have inquired about this practice.

What Is Cupping?

Cupping therapy is an ancient medical treatment that relies upon creating a local suction to mobilize soft tissues, blood and lymph flow in order to promote healing. Dry cupping is used specifically in physical therapy as a form of soft tissue mobilization by using myofascial decompression to release tissue restrictions in skin and muscle. It is thought to promote local circulation in the cupped region.

Want to Experience Cupping Therapy?

Contact our office nearest to you – Boulder, Golden or Westminster.

Physical & Cupping Therapy

Cupping is not used by itself as a treatment. It is just one method which may be used by physical therapists in the overall rehabilitation of musculo-skeletal conditions. Ultimately, the goal is improved mobility, stability, and movement patterns of your body.

For example, an area in your shoulder blade area may be tight, fibrotic or chronically irritated resulting in painful and restricted shoulder or neck motion. The shoulder blade area can be treated with cupping, but manual therapy and exercise will also be used to restore motion throughout the painful region.

Conditions Treated by Cupping Therapy

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

The Cupping Therapy Technique

Your procedure is performed by one of our trained therapists. Dry cupping is relatively straightforward and very safe. It is also expected to be comfortable and enjoyable. A mild suction is created using a cup and a pump on the selected treatment area and left in place for a few minutes. The mild suction pulls up the tissue in an affected area. The cup is then removed after 3 to 8 minutes. Multiple cups may be used simultaneously depending on the size of the area to be treated. The cup may also be gently moved to facilitate skin and other soft tissue tightness release (cupping massage).

Is Cupping Therapy Safe?

Cupping is not performed on people who are frail and thin, or obese. It is not performed on fragile or damaged skin. It is not performed during pregnancy. It is not used in patients with active cancer. It is never used in patients taking blood thinners. It is not used over tattoos.