Cupping | Portland, OR
Cupping provides benefits for bodily healing and recovery.
Cupping in Portland, Oregon
What is cupping?
Cupping is a medical therapy that uses round glass or plastic cups on specific places on the body. Practitioners create a vacuum inside the cup in order to stretch out the muscles and fascia. It is like a massage, but in reverse. Instead of pushing all the cramped and tight muscles together, we stretch them apart. That way the muscles and fascia can open up and move freely.
There are several different types of cupping, with the following three being practiced most often:
• Air or dry cupping: Air is removed with a handheld suction pump
• Fire cupping (also a dry cupping technique): Fire is applied to the inside of a glass cup to remove the oxygen to create suction once it’s placed
• Sliding cups: This uses massage oil to slide the cups into place and is typically used for large back muscles
Cupping is a modern integrative medicine technique. Cupping benefits not only the patient’s body; it also helps the overall healthcare system as it reduces the burden on primary care doctors for common conditions.
How does cupping work?
Acupuncture and cupping have many similarities. Both emerged from the experienced-based practices of Chinese medical doctors thousands of years ago and each has been the subject of increasing research. As with acupuncture, cupping is also used to stimulate circulation in the body.
While acupuncture does work mechanically, it mainly works on the blood, nerve, and electrical circulation. Cupping is more mechanical by stretching and expanding the muscles. Cupping also loosens scars and connective tissue and increases circulation to certain areas of the body. Your doctor places the cups along specific areas, often on important junctions and connections in the muscular skeletal system. You may feel a bit of tension on your skin with the suction, but as each cup is placed that feeling will go away. There should be no pain, and many people find cupping to be deeply restorative and relaxing. Some people describe it like “being able to scratch an itch you couldn’t reach.
“The cups stay in place for five to 20 minutes and are removed by gently releasing the suction on the skin. You may feel lighter and calmer after cupping. Your muscles in the area may feel looser and less tense, too.
And what about those red marks? Unlike bruises that signify damage to capillaries, cupping marks indicate that blood flow has increased to the area – a good sign. They will fade anywhere from a couple hours to a few days.
There are no reported side effects from cupping, but there are a few people who might want to proceed with caution. If you have hemophilia or take anticoagulant medications, cupping may not be for you. Further, cupping should not be performed on broken, inflamed, burned, or infected skin.
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How can acupuncture and cupping help me?
Beyond relaxation, cupping can also help with:
• Tight shoulders and back
• Accidents or injuries
• Respiratory issues (e.g., cough, congestion, asthma)
• Digestive issues
Cupping for pain is another potential benefit. This includes cancer pain and trigeminal neuralgia. A small but significant study also found that cupping improves pain, sleep, and disability in patients who have chronic back pain.
When practiced in conjunction with each other, acupuncture and cupping can provide powerful benefits to patients with few or no side effects.
How we help at The WellBridge Clinic
When you visit The WellBridge Clinic, an acupuncture and cupping practice in Portland, your first visit will include taking an extensive medical history that includes:
• Current conditions
• Past or chronic conditions
• Treatments and other healthcare personnel you are seeing
• Your short- and long-term goals for healing
After taking your medical history, we work with you to design a treatment plan based on your goals. We differentiate between emergency (or symptomatic) care that requires symptom relief and maintenance care that’s designed to keep all of your systems in balance. No matter your stage of healing, The WellBridge Clinic wants to minimize any invasive or pharmaceutical interventions and help you on your path to better health.