Cupping In the News:
It was good to see the public (Western cultures) exposed more to cupping therapy practice thanks to the recent Olympics in Rio 2016. Last Olympics in London 2012, the Chinese and Japanese Athletes, amongst neighbouring nations, were readily seen to use and advocate the practice, along with the approval no doubt of their large team of Medical and Physiotherapy related support staff. This time however it has bridged to divide to Western World Athletes, such as Michael Phelps (he of 23 Olympic Golds fame).
This advocacy of the practice and again the presumed support from his Medical and Sports science entourage with team USA, is a good barometer of the progress and acceptance within Western Medicine, for Cupping Therapy.
I not only believe, but increasingly understand with Medical Research trials (including RCT’s) gradually developing an improving evidence base, that this close relation of acupuncture, with a much more physio and mechanical twit of the stretch and separation force applied to often tense, painful and bound layers of soft tissue, is a helpful adjunct to our ‘normal’ modes of treatment as a physiotherapist.
As per acupuncture, with no significantly invasive element or presence of medications and their interactions, side effects are very limited. It is often suggested that is it important to rehydrate after cupping as it may mobilise constituents of our circulation, such that we may excrete the more readily (without going down the toxins route too far, as often cited with the Hollywood focus on this treatment). Otherwise the tell tale circular marks are the only notable by-product, when treatment is safely and appropriately applied.
This marking is knows as Ecchymosis – it is some localised red blood cell rupture, but not due to its cause and lack of spread, often interchangeable when accurately descried with the term bruising, which characteristically does often spread, and is from blunt trauma, not suction force (more like a love bite as such), short lived and worth it however.