As part of my ever-growing arsenal, to enable every single one of my clients to recover quicker, and more effectively, I have recently qualified as a cupping therapist.
Now, what is cupping therapy?
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine, in which a therapist will apply special cups to your skin for a few minutes to create suction. Whilst it is extremely popular in America and Asia, it has only now begun to make its way into the UK.
It can be used as an individual treatment, or alongside sports massage. The suction applied has several benefits, which include:
- Toxin Removal – Cupping therapy is highly effective in helping athletes recover from the strenuous training they subject their bodies to. During intensive training, the athletes develop micro tears in their muscles and tissues. As these tissues heal, they help boost stamina and performance. However, the stress also leads to a buildup of toxins like cholesterol, calcium deposits, uric acid, and lactic acid in the muscles. If not cleared, these toxins can hamper the healing of the tissues. Cupping can break down the chemical structure of the compounds into simpler forms that can be expelled from the body by natural processes. For example, uric acid converts into ureates that can be easily eliminated by the urinary system.
- Alleviate Inflammation – Cupping therapy can help heal the inflammation and stiffness in the joints. The reverse pressure exerted during cupping works to pull the tissues and muscles off the bones. The vacuum thus created fills with fresh blood and lymph that is rich in oxygen and nutrients. These infusions flood the affected area and cause it to heal. The lymph brings with it compounds that boost the body’s immunity besides aid in the healing process. While conventional medicine aims at suppressing inflammation, cupping therapy works to remove the causes of the inflammation. In this way, it speeds up healing and also removes pain and stress in the tissues.
- Relieve Plantar Fasciitis – Cupping can help provide relief to athletes suffering from plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a ligament or a flat band-like tissue that connects the toes to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and weak and as a result the patient feels an excruciating pain and is unable to set the foot down. Cupping can help relax this inflammation and thus, relieve the pain.
- Myofascial Decompression – Cupping therapy can also help relieve hamstring, quadricep, bicep, tricep strains, and myofascial restrictions even if they result from training and not from an injury. The treatment helps increase flexibility so athletes can train longer and harder. When the procedure was performed on athletes, they noted better a better range of active flexion and extension movement. Cupping can also treat musculoskeletal injuries and relieve the spasms athletes suffer when undergoing intensive training.
- Pain Relief – Cupping targets soft tissue with pressure applied to pain points and areas of swelling. This helps to increase blood flow and give the tissues important nutrients and oxygen. It’s believed to help release tissues deep within the body, relax tense muscles and ease stiffness that’s often associated with neck and back pain, migraines and rheumatism.
Who uses cupping therapy?
Steph Curry – The NBA star has been numerous times on court, sporting the aftermath of a cupping session. Given that is widely regarded as the best shooter to ever grace the NBA, he knows just how important it is to keep those shoulders flexible.
Michael Phelps – The most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals to his name, caused a bit of a stir back in 2016, when he was spotted in Rio sporting several red spots across his shoulder and back. Clearly he knows just how effective cupping can be.
Sonny Bill Williams – The All Blacks centre,and former heavyweight boxer, has shared many pictures on his instagram account of his back after an intense cupping treatment.
Gwyneth Paltrow – Cupping is not just used by sports stars, several A-List celebs including Jennifer Aniston have been known to use cupping therapy to improve the health and vitality of their skin.
So why not get yourself booked in for a cupping therapy session today, and see what all the fuss is about……..