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Cupping helps balance yin and yang, or the negative and positive, within the body. Restoring balance between these two extremes is thought to help with the body’s resistance to pathogens as well as its ability to increase blood flow and reduce pain, increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.

The effects and benefits of cupping therapy include:

  • promoting the skin’s blood flow
  • changing the skin’s biomechanical properties
  • increasing pain thresholds
  • improving local anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism
  • reducing inflammation
  • boosting cellular immunity
  • Cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:
  • lower back pain
  • neck and shoulder pain
  • headache and migraine
  • knee pain
  • shingles
  • facial paralysis
  • cough and dyspnea
  • acne
  • lumbar disc herniation
  • cervical spondylosis
  • brachialgia, the pain produced by a trapped nerve in the neck
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • hypertension
  • diabetes mellitus
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • asthma

Side effects

The side affects you may experience typically occur during your treatment or immediately after, such as:

  • circular marks where the cups have been
  • discoloration
  • dizziness
  • You may feel lightheaded or dizzy during your treatment.
  • Rarely, you may also experience sweating or nausea.

After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern. You may also have pain at incision sites after your session.

Other risks include:

  • scarring of the skin
  • hematoma (bruising)

If you experience any of these issues, consult your practitioner. They may offer remedies or steps you can take before your session in order to avoid any discomfort.

Contraindications to Cupping

Don’t use cupping if you use blood-thinning medication.

Also avoid cupping if you have:

  • a sunburn
  • a wound
  • a skin ulcer
  • experienced recent trauma
  • an internal organ disorders
  • thinning skin

Cupping shouldn’t be done on:

  • veins
  • arteries
  • nerves
  • skin inflammation or lesions
  • body orifices
  • eyes
  • lymph nodes
  • varicose veins