Written By: Annemarie Alf, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Owner OMP
Cupping has been a hot topic since the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
It has been a ‘tool’ in my PT toolbox since early 2012 and I have been using it since. I worked and learned daily from Chinese Medicine specialists, as they did the same from me; while I spent a year in China between 2012 and 2013. The biggest thing we both learned from one another was that the blend of Eastern and Western Therapies worked best together. Traditional Chinese medicine techniques, such as cupping, WITH a Western style movement pattern-based exercise approach was the way our athletes got better faster! Therefore, when I returned to the US, I began integrating cupping into my practice when appropriate. It’s not for every person, athlete, or diagnosis; evaluation and movement assessment MUST be done 1st. It is one piece of the puzzle, NOT the only piece. I have made the technique my own, as most experienced practitioners do with everything; mine a more movement specific approach.
There are a lot of theories on how and why cupping works.
Cupping can create decompression
Cupping can create a different stimulus to the system
Cupping creates microcirculation
Cupping can create improved fascial- muscle gliding when performed with movement
Cupping promotes a specific healing response
Cupping can decrease pain and improve movement
Is there a ton of research supporting it or disputing it, no not yet? There likely is in Mandarin Chinese but until that gets translated, our own case studies and outcomes will continue to dictate our practices of integrating cupping. But for me- in my own practice with my clients it works. Hands down. If you want to try it, or think you’ll benefit from it AND want to move better pain free; schedule an appt with us at: email@example.com.
Author: Annemarie Alf