Many people think that chiropractic care is limited to one specific type of treatment – spinal manipulations. As their name suggests, this is where the hands are used to manipulate and move the spine so that it is optimally aligned – something which has many benefits for the patient. However, this is far from the only drug-free treatment offered by chiropractic practitioners. Another increasingly popular technique is known as cupping therapy.
You may not have heard of cupping therapy before, but it certainly isn’t a new technique. Records show that cupping dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and even Middle Eastern cultures – as far back as 1550B.C! As you may have guessed, cupping therapy involves the use of special cups. These cups may be made from a variety of materials, including glass, silicone, and even bamboo. When they are placed onto the skin, negative pressure is created in the cup; either by applying a flame to the cup to remove oxygen before placing it onto the skin or by attaching a suction device to the cup after it is placed onto the skin. Cups are left in place for a few minutes before being removed.
There are two different types of cupping therapy. These are known as ‘dry’ and ‘wet’.
Dry cupping is exactly as described above and only involves the use of suction.
Wet cupping involves suction and also controlled medicinal bleeding. Once the suction element of the process is complete, your chiropractor will use a small scalpel to make very tiny, light cuts onto the skin. Once this has been done, suction will be reapplied to draw out a small amount of blood. This technique is thought to remove any harmful substances and toxins from the body.
Whichever cupping type you and your chiropractor choose, you will find that you are left with red marks on the skin, and these can take several days to fade. In the case of wet cupping, ointment and bandages will be placed over the cuts to prevent infection and help them to heal.
There is a range of benefits associated with cupping therapy. These include the following:
Many patients who undergo cupping therapy state that regular treatments can help to release tension in the body and help our natural pain-relieving endorphins to flow more freely around the body. This can help patients to manage discomfort without the need for pain medications.
While we have organs that are responsible for removing toxins from our body, the excesses of modern life can mean that they have to work exceptionally hard to be effective. Cupping therapy can help enhance this process through focused blood flow, which helps to flush out toxins through the lymphatic system.
Cupping therapy has been reported to be helpful for patients facing a number of conditions. These include:
Lumbar disc herniation
Cough and dyspnea
Shingles and skin issues such as acne and eczema
Migraines and persistent headaches
High blood pressure
Allergies and asthma
Anxiety and depression
For many patients, one of the biggest draws of cupping therapy, and indeed chiropractic care as a whole is that it is predominantly non-invasive. Unless you choose the wet cupping technique, you will enjoy a treatment that involves no incisions and where there is no need for anesthetic.
If you would like to find out more about what’s involved in cupping therapy and if you could benefit from this chiropractic technique, please get in touch with our chiropractic clinic today in El Paso, TX.