You may have heard a lot about cupping after seeing Michael Phelp’s shoulder at the Olympics. Cupping is a treatment used to relieve pain, loosen the muscles, enhance circulation, remove toxins and induce relaxation. Cups are suctioned to the skin so that that blood and lymph can move into the tissue, clearing out any stagnations and accumulated wastes. It is a beneficial treatment for people suffering from chronic pain, stress, poor circulation or scar tissue build-up. Most people find it to be a calming experience that feels similar to a massage. For this reason, healthy people can also enjoy it as a relaxation treatment. Various methods can be used to suction the cups to the skin. The style practiced at Resolve Physio and Wellness is called “fire cupping”. An alcohol-soaked cotton ball that has been lit on fire is placed inside the cup and then removed. When it is taken out it creates a vacuum for a few seconds. This is when the cups are placed on the skin. They can be left in one spot or can be moved around if oil is applied. Cupping is commonly applied to the back and shoulders but is sometimes used on other areas such as the upper or lower legs. Cups are typically made of plastic or glass and are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly after each use.
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