If you have chronic pain, you undoubtedly know the struggle of balancing your pain management with your ability to function. Pain drugs can lead to terrible side effects and make it difficult to live your life as normal. Finding an alternative treatment such as cupping therapy can be a life-changing solution.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy is type of medical treatment with ancient origins. During sessions, specially-made cups are applied to your skin by your practitioner, creating suction. This can be used for a variety of purposes, and has been practiced in various parts of the world for centuries.
There are two primary methods to cupping therapy: wet cupping and dry cupping. During dry cupping, your provider will use a pump or other method to create gentle suction in the cups applied to your skin. This will raise and redden the skin, an effect that may remain visible for up to ten days. The cups typically remain in place for one to three minutes.
During wet cupping, the cups are removed after several minutes and a small scalpel or needles are used to draw a small amount of blood from the treated areas. After this is performed, a second cupping session takes place in order to help draw out the blood, after which your provider will give you bandages and antibiotic cream, as necessary. Because of the minor risk of infection and some people’s general aversion to blood, the wet cupping method is far less common and popular than the dry method.
What is Cupping Used For?
Cupping therapy is commonly used to treat chronic pain, joint and muscular issues, problems with anxiety and stress and much more. Women, in particular, find cupping to be especially effective in dealing with the discomfort of reproductive and menstrual issues. Cupping has even been used with some success to manage stomach conditions, hormonal issues and other internal medicine concerns.
That said, the treatment is not for everyone. While celebrities, athletes and healthcare providers alike tout the benefits of cupping therapy, not everyone is convinced of its merit. The technique can be damaging to skin, especially if used incorrectly, and while the risk of infection is low it is still a possibility to be considered.
Talk to your healthcare provider about alternative therapies like cupping, and see what might be right for you. There’s no time like the present to see if you could enjoy a pain-free future!