Therapeutic cupping is an ancient alternative medicine technique, which has recently made a comeback in the sports medicine world, especially during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Cupping helps flush old, stagnant blood from old injuries, which may be preventing complete recovery. When the therapy is finished, the cups are taken off and the muscle is irrigated with new, healthy blood full of nutrients needed for the injured area to recover. This process helps heal deep scar tissue from old injuries or surgeries, muscle spasms and overuse injuries.
During your treatment session, the athletic trainer will begin by placing the cup on your skin and attaching a suction pump to the cup, thereby creating a vacuum. It may be moved around in a massaging motion or left in place for a few minutes before being removed. You may feel mild pressure during the session and have visible red marks for a few days following the treatment. Most people, however, report little to no discomfort during the session and experience results immediately after.
This “vacuum” effect will cause nutrient-rich blood to pool into the area under the cup. The nutrient-rich blood promotes healing and increases range of motion.
If you are experiencing any type of tightness, soreness, fatigue or pain in a muscle area, cupping could be very beneficial. This treatment can also break up scar tissue that may be causing pain.