One of the lesser known treatments in Chinese Medicine is Cupping. Although it dates back to over 3000 years ago, it was established as an official therapy in the 1950’s in China and the former Soviet Union. Some view cupping and the cupping therapy benefits associated with it as a stand-alone treatment, and specifically cupping therapy for athletes has since grown in popularity. It recently came into the spot light in the last Olympics most noticeably with the U.S. swim team and Michael Phelps and gymnast Alex Naddour.
An old Chinese medicine maxim states, “Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.” Pain is the essence of disease and by removing congestion, stagnation, “Qi” or vital force blockage, of blood flow, lymph and other vital body fluids you can bring the body into better health, balance and natural flow of energy. So what exactly is cupping and what are some of the benefits of utilizing this type of therapy and in particular cupping for athletes? Keep reading to learn 9 cupping therapy benefits for athletes.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping uses a round glass or plastic cup and through suction applies a negative force to the skin, and can loosen tight muscles, increase blood flow, and relax the nervous system. Cupping can be used by both placing the cups in a stationary position or can be used with oil or lotion for a “moving” cupping experience. The therapy can be very relaxing, and many patients enjoy how it opens up “stuck” tissue and tight muscles relieving both pain and tightness very quickly. It can be used with or without acupuncture and many times is incorporated into the same treatment.
Cupping Therapy Benefits for Athletes
Let’s review cupping therapy benefits for athletes:
- One of the biggest cupping therapy benefits and main uses of cupping is to remove lung congestion.
- I have found cupping therapy to be very helpful for both cold congestion and asthma relief.
- Cupping therapy can help athletes increase lung capacity and openness giving them more stamina.
- By encouraging blood flow, cupping therapy has many detoxifying effects on the skin.
- Cupping therapy is used in facial cupping it can tone up facial muscles while clearing lymph while stimulating collagen production and helping to remove fine lines with a noticeable improvement in skin color in as little as a few treatments.
- Cupping therapy reduces pain intensity and can greatly relieve back and neck tension. Many patients with extreme back tension have gotten tremendous relief with cupping, especially when combined with acupuncture.
- Cupping therapy can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and loosen adhesions Can aid in improving digestion, some benefits being improved metabolism, relief from constipation, a healthy appetite, and stronger digestion.
- In athletes I have found it to be especially beneficial for not only upper back tightness but lower back decompression, hamstring and quadriceps tightness, relieving spasm and increasing flexibility.
- Cupping therapy alleviates inflammation by opening up the tissue to bring nutrients, blood and oxygen to the area thereby also decreasing healing time and removing pain and stress in the joints and surrounding tissues.
Are There Any Side Effects from Cupping?
There can be a mild redness from moving cupping or bruising from stagnant cupping but they are usually mild and dissipate within a few days. While cupping therapy is generally considered safe, there are some side effects that you should be aware of:
- Skin irritation: Cupping can cause mild to moderate skin irritation, including redness, swelling, and bruising. The suction can also cause small, circular bruises on the skin, which typically disappear within a few days to a week.
- Discomfort or pain: Cupping can cause some discomfort or pain, especially if the suction is strong. Some people may also experience a sensation of tightness or pressure in the area where the cups are placed.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: Cupping can cause a temporary decrease in blood pressure, which may lead to dizziness or lightheadedness in some people.
The many cupping therapy benefits heavily outweigh any minor side effects. If you would like to know more about cupping or experience a cupping session for yourself, call our office in Delray Beach at 561-303-3436 and schedule your session today!
Get Cupping Therapy in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Florida
Thank you for reading this resource on 9 cupping therapy benefits for athletes. AcuSportsTherapy is a top sports acupuncture clinic in Delray Beach that helps people reach their highest potential for peak performance in life and sports. Holly Green, founder of AcuSportsTherapy serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach, incorporates principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western Sports Medicine to view the patient’s injury from a truly integrated perspective. Contact us to learn how we can help you recover faster, prevent recurring injury, perform at your highest level, and sleep better!
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