Cupping is a modality that involves putting plastic or silicone cups atop the skin and suctioning the skin and fascial tissue away from the underlying muscles and tendons. This creates a traction or distraction type stimulus on the skin and fascial tissue which can help to alleviate pressure in the underlying tissues and allow for decreased pain with movement both during and following treatment. In addition to cupping, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) can be used to further enhance the benefits of cupping.

What to Expect

Similar to other modalities, the outcome of cupping is typically decreased pain both at rest and with movement. As is the goal with cupping and other modalities such as spinal manipulation and dry needling, the goal with cupping is to provide a gateway or window into pain-free (or at least less pain with) movement. When this gateway or window is opened, it is crucial that active exercise and strengthening be implemented right away to load and provide an adequate stimulus to the injured muscles, tendons, and or joints to help encourage and speed along the healing process of these tissues. This process of using cupping (or another modality) followed by specific and targeted strengthening is what will ultimately lead to the best long-term results to help get you better as quickly as possible!

Why cupping?

Cupping is one of the many tools I have as a physical therapist to help treat musculoskeletal conditions. I find that it is best used in conjunction with another modality like instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) and exercise to yield the best results.

One of the main reasons that I perform cupping differently than most other clinicians is that I cup in a way that does NOT provide the huge bruises/welts that you see olympic (and other) athletes walking around with (particularly swimmers.)

I don’t cup in this manner for two reasons:
1. It is simply not necessary to cup this aggressively in one particular spot to see optimal benefits/results, and
2. This way you don’t have to worry about people staring at you because you have these huge welts/bruises on your skin.

Why Do Clients Choose To Work With Me?

Clients are happy with how I provide this service largely because I don’t cup in a way that leaves the big bruises/welts that you see on other athletes after they have received cupping. My clients (particularly females) appreciate this because it means they don’t have to wear additional layers of clothing to cover up the massive bruises/welts that other clinicians leave behind when they perform cupping on their patients/clients.

Bonus Details

Cupping is a service that is included in the “recovery session” offering. It is also included in all formal physical therapy plans of care.


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