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9:01 pm

"Cupping Therapy Rocks"

By: Tom Eddins and Heven Anderson


Cupping is a manual therapy in use for over 3000 years. It helps improve blood flow and reduce pain and inflammation in the areas which are cupped. It involves creating suction with a cup on the skin over areas of large muscles, such as the neck and shoulders, upper, middle and lower back and hips. Cupping can be used to ease headaches, abdominal pain, thoracic discomfort, muscle aches of the hips and low back, tense shoulders and much more.


Cupping involves the application of glass or plastic cups which adhere to the body through the use of a pump or by heat.  The most common method is by heat, which is done by waving a burning cotton ball that had been soaked in alcohol through the cup quickly to create a vacuum.  You do not feel the heat, but you will feel the cup pull up on the skin.  The cups are used over certain acupuncture points to treat internal conditions. Here they act to detoxify the organs they are intended to target. Cups are also used over areas of pain to treat muscular pain and tension. They create a myofascial decompression that helps fascial/connective tissue to release and relaxes muscular tension.


Once the cups are attached, they are generally left on for 5-15 minutes and are removed by simply pressing down on the skin and letting the air out.  They do leave a mark on the body which lasts for about 4-10 days depending on the condition.  The mark is very useful as a diagnostic tool – the darker the mark, the more stagnation there is in the muscles.  As the marks lighten through progressive treatments, it is a sign that the underlying conditions are improving.


Tom Eddins, L.Ac. regularly incorporates cupping into his acupuncture treatments to help relax areas being worked on or to strengthen internal organs. It also may be used as part of a combined massage and acupuncture treatment offered by Tom and Madelin Semper, LMBT. And Madelin and Elizabeth O’Connor, LMBT both practice cupping in their massage work. If you are interested in a 30 minute cupping treatment we also offer that at Alchemy.

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