Although cupping is thought to be a modern or even ‘trendy’ type of treatment used by celebrities and athletes at the moment, it has actually been around for a very long time. Cupping is an ancient medical treatment with roots in China, Egypt and the Middle East. There are records outlining its use as far back as 1,500 B.C. It is still widely used in these counties today.
This type of treatment is considered to be a myofascial decompression therapy. It has a profound effect on the connective tissue called fascia. Fascia is an all-encompassing structure found throughout the body that provides the framework for all aspects of your entire body allowing it to work as a unit. It holds everything in place and allows structures such as organs and muscles to slide over each other as we move.
This therapy involves placing specially designed cups – which can be glass or silicon on your skin by creating a suction within the cup. The cups are left on for only a few minutes, placed over acupuncture needles or moved around depending what is needed in your case.
There are 2 types of cupping dry and wet. In dry cupping oil is applied to the skin to prevent excess friction or pain as the flesh is drawn into the cup. When using glass cups a small amount of cotton soaked in rubbing alcohol is ignited and placed inside the cup. The oxygen within the cup is used up to feed the flame once this is used up the cotton is quickly removed and the cup is placed on the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum causing the suction needed therapeutically. This causes your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand. The level of suction can be easily adjusted to make it more comfortable. In the case of silicon or plastic cups the suction is created by a hand-held pump which eliminates the need for fire.
The cups can be left on for 3-5 minutes in place or slowly moved around. Moving cups or cupping massage as it is sometimes called is similar to having a deep tissue massage.
With wet cupping the suction is used, the cup is then removed and your therapist uses a small scalpel to make tiny cuts on your skin. A second suction is then applied to draw out a small amount of blood. After antiseptic cream is applied and a bandage is used to cover the area prevent infection. This is a stronger type of cupping so your skin will look normal within 10 days.
It is rare in either case that more than 5-7 cups are used at once. The intensity of the resulting welts associated with cupping will depend on the type of cupping used, the strength of the suction applied and the individuals type of skin. The welts unusually resolve within a couple of days much like a bruise.
Cupping is thought to help reduce pain and inflammation as well as increase blood flow and promote relaxation and wellbeing.
When you attend the clinic for the first time a full case history will be taken and you will be given a diagnosis for your symptoms. At this point your Osteopath will discuss what they feel is the best course of treatment for you. This may include cupping if you happy to have that as one of the therapies used in your case. It is usual for your Osteopath to use other techniques such as soft tissue release or joint mobilization along with the cupping. Dry cupping is most commonly used at the clinic – if wet cupping is indicated it will be the only therapy method used within your session by prior arrangement. The treatment approach used is bespoke to your case and the type of techniques used will be a combination of what the practitioner feels will speed your recovery along with what you as a patient feel you would like to have done.
When you book an appointment with one of the Osteopaths the initial appointment will last 45 minutes. We will take a detailed case history including information about your past medical history and current medications. We will then conduct a thorough examination to come to a diagnosis for your current symptoms. At this time we will discuss the therapeutic approach we may consider beneficial to alleviate your symptoms effectively and get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. Treatment approaches may include the use of acupuncture, cupping or strapping along with general Osteopathic techniques if you would like to have that as part of your treatment.
Initial consultation is 45 minutes and treatment sessions are 30 minutes regardless of the therapies used.
Initial consultation is £48
Subsequent treatments are £44 (again regardless of therapies used)