Dr. Wells provides cupping therapy in a variety of safe and effective ways that complements his own professional modalities to help loosen muscles, increase flexibility and facilitate manipulations among other applications.
Benefits of Cupping
- Cups encourage circulation.
- Cups alleviate adhesions. The ability to lift and separate tissue while simultaneously offering hydration to that which was previously restricted.
- Cups help clear congestion and stagnation. Anything that is stagnant in an otherwise healthy internal environment is what predominantly leads to dysfunction and disease.
- Cups can lift, rehydrate and manipulate fascia. Cupping forces hydration to pass through these fluid rich structures, which can improve pliability to what may have been otherwise dehydrated and therefore adhered structures.
- Cups can cause microtrauma in tissues. Cupping can bring about beneficial inflammation to encourage deep-seated restrictions to clear and rebuild healthy tissue, thus encouraging the body’s own process of regeneration.
- Cups encourages neovascularization. Neovascularization is the process by which new blood vessels form from already existing healthy vessels, bring a fresh supply of nutrients and oxygen to previously deficient tissues. In areas of injury or damaged tissue cupping can stimulate this response in regional tissues, which in turn can speed recovery. ( Do not use cupping directly on severely injured tissue).
- Cups help alleviate excessive pressure on sensory organs in soft tissue, which leads to a reduction in pain.
Common Questions About Cupping
How do cups feel?
Some recipients have noted after treatment:
- “It feels like your hands but different.”
- “It feels like I have breathing room in my tissues.”
- “It sometimes feels like you found the spot no one has gotten to before with massage and bodywork!”
Cups should feel good.
What are the marks that often happen from cupping?
Cupping marks are a sign of interstitial debris, such as old blood, being released after cups have been applied to the body. Cups work as a vacuum, helping to facilitate the release of any waste materials that the body sometimes simply cannot do on its own. While true cupping marks are a sign of release, sometimes bruises occur if this therapy is applied too strongly or too aggressively.
For how long can cups be applied? And how strong a suction can be used?
Everyone will experience a different reaction to therapeutic cupping. Reactions depend on a few variables–a person’s level of hydration, activity, age, nutrition and previous experiences with bodywork–all of which can offer some insight as to how this individual will respond.
What should come after the first cupping procedure?
Getting feedback from all recipients immediately after the procedure, as well as in the days that follow.
How often can cups be used?
Cupping should not be done everyday. Do not reapply cups until any marking has disappeared. Muscular: Cups can be applied to different muscles in different locations, but it is strongly advised not to repeat an application in the same location within 48 hours. Lymphatic: While cups are extremely helpful, using them too often can move too much fluid, ultimately causing swelling. The body should be allowed to process and settle for approximately 48 hours before reapplying cups to the same location.
How long will it take until something is “fixed” with cupping?
Each person is different and each may respond to cupping differently. Cupping should be looked at in a cumulative manner meaning whatever condition that is being worked on, a few weeks of regular applications is suggested. Chances are that if something has accumulated over a few years, it will take at least a few weeks of constant application to have major changes happen. However, one treatment can yield excellent results.
Where is the evidence that cupping actually works like you say it does?
As with non-invasive therapy (massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture), the proof is often in the results. The fact that cups have been employed the world over for thousands of years, however, speaks volumes for its efficacy, as do the thousands of cases and testimonials accrued by this therapy. The “proof” is in the work and its results.
How cupping Affects the Muscular System:
- Promotes overall skeletal muscle health. Cupping encourages blood flow within the muscles, enhances the the expression of accumulated metabolic waste and lymph movement, lifts and stretches these tight muscle fibers and decompresses any pressure on nerves that may pass through the muscles. Fascial adhesions are encouraged to soften and manipulation is made more accessible.
- Cupping lifts the tissue to create space while simultaneously pulling blood into the area.
- Cupping lifts and rolls along the length of the muscle, immediately elongating the tissue while simultaneously purging metabolic waste.
- Promotes lengthening of tight muscles. Cupping can lift and stretch the tissue rather than press into it, which tricks the contracted muscle into thinking its lengthening and therefore stimulates a relaxation response.
- Encourage lymph movement. While cups can help with overall fluid functions involving lymph in muscle tissue, a cup can also “wring out” old, stagnant lymph from muscles.
- Stimulates peristalsis. The negative pressure can simulate the expansion that occurs during peristalsis and encourage this involuntary movement toward optimal colon function.
- Supports body temperature regulation. Muscles naturally work to regulate body temperatures. Cupping can help draw this heat to surface tissues for removal by the pulling of the negative pressure as well as the increase in vasodilation.
- Promotes muscle recovery.
This information has been brought to you by Shannon Gilmartin, CMT from her book “The Guide To Modern Cupping Therapy
The reason I share this with my patients and those interested in receiving cupping therapy is to help educate and provide them an understanding of the benefits of cupping. Shannon Gilmartin, CMT (The Guide To Modern Cupping Therapy) does a great job in explaining how cupping therapy works with this example. Say you were lifting a heavy object and you created small tears in the tight muscle fibers of the muscles being used. Various blood vessels that innervate these muscles struggle through the layers of muscle fibers to push the tissue debris out to the surface, where the lymphatic system can dispose of it. Once the waste is gone, healthy blood can be pumped in to replace the waste, fill the space it previously occupied and heal the area. This capability is challenged, however, because the tissue is to tight–perhaps due to the presence of adhesions within the muscle tissue–to allow this healing process to flow properly. The waste in the torn muscle tissue remains, creating a stagnation that the body cannot fully express into the lymphatic system and the ripple effect begins to take hold. Fluids get backed up and displaced (edema), muscles are not properly supplied with blood (ischemia), perhaps the inflammatory material that was sent to heal the area cannot function fully and gets trapped (embedded inflammation), full engagement of muscle function is hindered (dysfunction) and the overall health of the muscle is now impaired. Cupping therapy is beneficial because it promotes suppleness within soft tissue and facilitates the body’s desire to get rid of the waste, which it sometimes simply cannot do completely on its own.