August 11th, 2021
Ever notice someone walking around with giant, red circles on their back and shoulders? This is not some weird form of blotchiness or a freaky skin condition. Those circles are a result of cupping – an ancient form of Chinese medicine believed to restore balance within the body, increase blood flow, and reduce pain. Here we take a closer look at cupping…how it works, the benefits, and more!
The Science Behind Cupping
Like acupuncture, cupping is believed to balance yin and yang (the negative and positive) within the body and facilitate the flow of “qi” (the vital energy believed to regulate your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health). Restoring balance within the body helps with the body’s resistance to pathogens, increases blood flow, and reduces pain.
How Cupping Works
During a cupping treatment at Driven Fit + SWS, our resident practitioner Dr. Sponaugle heats a cup by placing a fire source such as herbs or alcohol into a cup and lighting it. As the fire starts to go down, she places the cup upside down directly onto the skin (most commonly on the back, neck, shoulders, or the specific site of pain). The air inside the cup cools and creates a vacuum that causes your skin to rise into the cup, and as a result, reddens the blood vessels. This is what leaves the reddish/purple circles on the treatment area.
If you’re uncomfortable with heated cupping, it’s no problem. Rubber stamps can also be used to create suction versus the traditional heating methods. If needed, Dr. Sponaugle will place ointment and bandages to the cupped areas on the skin to prevent infection. The “bruises” you experience will go away within 10 days after treatment.
Cupping Safety & Possible Side Effects
Cupping is generally very safe, however, it is not for everyone. Certain individuals should take extra precautions or avoid cupping altogether. This may include children, seniors, pregnant women, menstruating women, individuals who use blood-thinning medications, or individuals who have a sunburn, would, skin ulcer, or internal organ disorder.
Although rare, certain side effects may occur. This can include dizziness, nausea, pain or irritation at the cupping site, scarring, or infection caused by unsanitary conditions. At Driven Fit + SWS, Dr. Sponaugle is certified in cupping therapy. She goes beyond sanitation standards by thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the equipment before and after each use and wears disposable gloves, goggles, and a mask.
Benefits of Cupping
Since ancient times, cupping has been known to offer a wide variety of benefits, some of which include:
Cupping Treatments at Driven Fit + SWS
Interested in learning more about our Tampa cupping treatments? Driven Fit + SWS can help! Please call or text (813) 440-3016 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sponaugle to find out if you are a candidate for cupping therapy.