Four years ago, I was introduced to cupping while being treated for a vehicle injury. The treatment was some sort of a traditional therapy whereby the practitioner applied suction cups to my body. I experiencing excruciating pain in the back and was anxious to find something that can provide fast relief. It only took one treatment to get me hooked. I was so impressed by the treatment that I bought my own cup set, so my partner would be able to treat me at home.

Cupping is considered to be an integral part of acupuncture therapy, although it is often used as a standalone treatment (no needles involved) and sometimes as a complementary treatment to acupuncture. The therapist applies the cups on various parts of the patient’s body and they are either left in one spot, or are slid along your back by the therapist. For maximum pain management, my style of cupping involves a combination of the two techniques.

Several cultures use some type of cupping in their folk medicine, and when I was young I saw some family members use cupping therapy to alleviate a wide range of ailments that included digestive problems, respiratory issues, injury, pain, and even for skin problems such as cellulite and eczema. Cupping therapy can be used to loosen tight knotted muscle in the back. It works by allowing blood flow to injured parts of the body. This helps accelerate the healing process by decreasing swelling, and enabling the expulsion of toxins.

Cup sets sold today usually come with a basic pump. If the therapist decides to leave the cups in place, the pump is removed and the cup stays on the skin surface for as short as five minutes to as long as twenty minutes. If the therapist opts for the “sliding” technique, massage oil or lotion is then applied before the administration of light suction, and the cup(s) can be moved in any direction. Circular movement aimed on problem areas work wonders for me.

Fire-Cupping is a more traditional style of this therapy. One creates a vacuum by drenching a cotton ball in alcohol, igniting, and putting it for a few seconds inside the cup. All the oxygen in the cup is sucked up by the fire generating the suction. Then the cup is applied on the patient’s skin, and the method is similar as with using the modern cups. Fire-Cupping does not feel hot on or burn your body.

Cupping therapy should not be a painful procedure, although it may leave marks that should go away within a few hours. It can be very relaxing, for both adults and children.

If you suffer from ailments such as back pain, it is important to seek out a qualified massage therapist or professional acupuncturist in Overland Park who specializes in cupping therapy. For best outcomes the therapist can also use during the massage white flower oil, or apply Salonpas or any analgesic patch after the treatment.