What is Cupping Therapy?


Cupping was established as an official therapeutic practice in the 1950s across hospitals in China after research conducted by Chinese and former Soviet Union acupuncturists confirmed cupping’s effectiveness. Prior to the 1950s, cupping is believed to have been used for over years in Chinese medicine. In recent years, cupping has been growing in popularity, with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, David Arquette, and athlete Michael Phelps drawing public attention to the traditional Chinese therapy technique.


What is Cupping and how does it help?

Cupping is a form of therapy which consists of creating a local suction on the skin using  mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps). It is believed this method draws out toxins, mobilizes blood flow, soothes muscle pain and, in some cases, helps cure insomnia. At Cornerstone Therapy and Wellness we dry cup by hand held pneumatic pump, along with plastic vacuum cups that placed on the skin to release the fascia and muscle tissue underneath to treat various conditions.

Dry Cupping is also being referred to as Myofacial Decompression (MFD), as the suction causes decompression of the tissues underneath and around the cup. Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater. It is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including heart, lunges, brain, and spinal cord. It is the 3D “glue” that holds everything together. MFD is used in conjunction with movement of the body or movement of the cups during treatment to effectively break down adhesions or scar tissue in the fascia.

It is the decompression of the tissue that makes dry cupping different from other forms of manual therapy techniques commonly used. The decompression works on scar tissue and adhesions while improving the flow of fluids, nutrients and blood. Although treatment can sometimes be uncomfortable, cupping is effective at decreasing stiffness and pain while improving mobility.

We utilize cupping within our treatments with the aim of:

– Reducing scar tissue formation following inflammation or trauma
– Releasing trigger points and decrease tightness in a muscle and surrounding fascia
– Decreasing myofascial dysfunction, break up adhesions/scar tissue already present
– Increase blood flow to a slow healing muscle, tendon or ligament

The con of cupping is the round bruising that can occur form the treatment. This is caused by the negative pressure from the suction of the cup. Even though they are usually not painful people do not enjoy the look of them. Depending on the extent of the discoloration the bruises can last anywhere from 1 day to a week.