Opinion

How cupping can ease your muscle tension | Heintze

Do you have tight muscles that cause pain or tension headaches? If you are looking for an alternative pain relief, you may need to check out cupping. Cupping is one of tools used in Chinese medicine, along with acupuncture, to help the body heal and reduce symptoms.

What is cupping exactly?

You may have heard about cupping in the news or have experienced it in acupuncture treatments. The art of cupping involves using a glass or plastic cups to provide vacuum suction when applied on the skin. Cupping, unlike massage, uses negative pressure to release rigid tissues, drain excess fluids, loosen adhesions, and bring blood flow to skin and muscles. Cupping also releases lactic acid and stagnation that’s deep in the muscle layer. It works to increase circulation and decrease inflammation deep in the tissues.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

• Releases lactic acid in muscles

• Improves circulation, oxygenation, and detoxification of blood

• Promotes relaxation of tight muscles

• Soothes muscle spasms

What results should I expect with cupping?

Typical cupping treatments are 20-30 minutes. Most patients report immediate relief of muscle pain and cupping treatments are recommended once a week for 4-6 weeks, depending on the particular condition being treated. Due to the suction nature of the cupping, the cups will leave colored pain-less spots (circles) on the area being treated.

These spots appear as toxins are brought to the surface during cupping, the degree of discoloration is a reflection of the stagnation of the area being treated.  The cup marks usually fade within a day or two but may last longer depending on how well the body can circulate blood and properly detoxify the body.

Cupping is a very effective and relaxing alternative treatment to pain and muscle spasms. Most patients report immediate relief of muscle tightness and have reported the "pain melting away under the cups!"

Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc is Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist, specializing in pain and stress management and digestive health. She sees patients in her private practice in downtown Bothell. For more information, visit www.startingptacupuncture.com.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 5 edition online now. Browse the archives.