Rivers of Qi Acupuncture & Fertility Blog

Cupping Therapy

March 7, 2023   •   by Jessida Putkaew

What does cupping do?

Cupping therapy brings comfort and relieves pain. Some patients are delighted when I say "Should we do cupping today?" while others make a bracing face knowing that their pain areas are about to get a good massage. 

For muscle pain, cupping is a good way to relieve tension that is often held in backs, necks, and tops of shoulders. Cupping can also help tight IT bands that cause pain down the legs, imbalanced walking, or cause knee problems. 

Fire cups vs. Non-fire cups

Fire cups are made from glass. Many patients like these cups as they have a good weight to them. Think weighted blanket or using an eye mask. There is something comforting about the weight of them and if we do sliding cups, they glide smoothly with their weight making the sensation feel much like a massage. With glass cups, a suction is created by lighting a cotton ball below the cup, the flame uses the oxygen inside the cup and creates a suction when we apply the cup to the body. 

Non-fire cups are usually plastic or silicone. They are lighter in weight so they have benefits for travelling practitioners and are useful for areas of the body where weight would cause the cup to fall off of the body.

Silicone is the type used in facial acupuncture because they can be made and used in smaller sizes. Plastic cups can be adjusted in the strength of suction easily. Overall each kind has their own strength and all can be helpful for improving circulation, moving lymph, helping pain, and even moving stuck emotions!

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