What is myofascial cupping?
Myofascial cupping (also just called cupping) is a process by which a therapist puts varying sizes of cups on parts of the body using suction which creates a lifting of the tissues resulting in a “bump” of skin within the cup. The cups can be placed on specific acupoints, trigger points, areas of scaring or adhesion. The cups can be kept in place, or moved along the skin. This is an ancient therapy used in many cultures throughout history, but more recently has been popularized by many athletes and celebrities. Google it and you’ll find lots of pictures of famous people with round welts on their backs.
Why should you try cupping?
1. It’s non-invasive. Cupping is actually quite gentle and relatively harm-free – the welts you see afterwards are small bruises but they tend not to hurt like a bruise does. It’s an excellent alternative for people who would benefit from acupuncture or dry needling treatment but are freaked out of needles!
2. Its relaxing. Cupping is warming and feels like a deep tissue massage, and the effects are similar too.
3. It’s literally been used for thousands of years. Although the methods have been refined and perfected (no unsterilized animal horns with fire here!) it’s use dates as far back as 1550 B.C.
4. Cupping can treat a wide variety of conditions. It can potentially decrease tension (especially in the back, shoulders, and legs), as well as help with alleviating migraines, allergies, menstrual pain, indigestion, arthritis and fibromyalgia to name a few.
5. It can benefit your mental health. As with massage, part of the treatment is relaxing, so your body will secrete those happy endorphins!
6. It’s time efficient. The treatment itself is generally only 15-20 minutes long, so combined with a 45 or 60 minute massage once a month doesn’t take much out of a busy schedule!
7. Quick results. You can feel some of the benefits of cupping during your first treatment and they can last for weeks.
8. Minimal side effects. There are essentially no side effects apart from the signature bruising and perhaps some very mild discomfort.
9. It’s natural. Not to worry about any ingredients or interactions with other medications!
10. There’s some research to back it up. The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine stated that cupping therapy can help with acne, shingles, and pain management in 2025, and there’s more research being done.
I bet you wanna check it out now, don’tcha? If you’re in Edmonton and area, click here to visit me!