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Cupping Therapy at Alliance Orthopedics

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine used to help reduce pain and inflammation, increase blood flow, and decrease stress. Cupping therapy may also be used as a type of deep-tissue massage. The cups used may be made of glass, bamboo, earthenware, or silicone. Alliance Orthopedics uses cupping therapy to assist in pain management. Using cupping therapy in addition to our other pain management techniques provides patients with a more integrative approach to healing.

Types of Cupping

There are two types of cupping therapy: wet and dry. Wet cupping therapy involves puncturing the skin with an acupuncture needle before placing the cup. Dry cupping therapy does not use needles but still uses suction to pull the skin into the cup.

How Cupping Therapy Works

During treatment, a licensed acupuncturist will place heated cups on specific points of the skin. As the air cools within the cup, it creates a vacuum seal, which causes the skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand.

Modern versions of cupping therapy use a rubber pump to create a vacuum seal. Silicone cups may also be used and moved from place to place on the skin to create a deep massage effect.

What to Expect During Treatment

During treatment, cups are left in place for about 3 minutes. During your cupping session, the acupuncturist will use 3-5 cups. It is rare to have more than 5-7 cups placed on the body during a single session.

After treatment, your skin will appear flushed, red, and raised. Your skin should return to normal within ten days after treatment. An antibiotic ointment and bandage may be applied to help prevent the risk of infection.

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