What is Cupping Therapy?

What is Cupping Therapy?

Are you searching for an alternative therapy to complement your chiropractic care? Have you heard about cupping therapy but are unsure what it involves? In our increasingly health-conscious world, ancient practices like cupping therapy are experiencing a resurgence. This non-invasive, traditional technique could be the missing piece in your wellness journey. In this article, we’ll delve into the history, process, and potential benefits of cupping therapy, arming you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your health and well-being.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Simply put, cupping therapy is a form of alternative therapy that utilizes suction cups placed on the skin to stimulate healing. The cups can be made from various materials, including glass, bamboo, silicone, or earthenware. The therapist creates suction within these cups, causing the skin beneath to rise and blood vessels to expand. This process promotes increased blood flow, which can lead to numerous health benefits.

How Does Cupping Work?

In cupping therapy, the practitioner places a cup—typically made of glass, silicone, or bamboo—on a targeted area of the body. The air inside this cup is then heated or suctioned out to create a vacuum. This vacuum effect causes the skin beneath the cup to be drawn up and swell, leading to the characteristic round bruises often associated with cupping therapy.

The swelling of the skin is more than just a surface-level reaction; it prompts a response from your body’s circulatory system. The vacuum created by the cup stimulates blood flow to the area, causing blood vessels to expand.

This increase in blood flow serves a dual purpose. First, it brings oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, promoting healing and recovery in the targeted area. Second, it helps to remove waste products and toxins by encouraging lymphatic drainage.

The History of Cupping Therapy

It’s crucial to appreciate the rich historical context from which it originates. Cupping therapy is a centuries-old treatment modality rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). However, its origins stretch even further back, with evidence of its use in the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, and the Middle East.

The Benefits of Cupping Therapy

The increased blood flow resulting from cupping therapy can have a variety of health benefits. These include:

  1. Pain relief: Cupping is often used to alleviate muscle pain and soreness. The increased blood flow can help relieve muscle tension and promote cell repair. It’s also frequently used in the treatment of back and neck pain, migraines, and rheumatism.
  2. Improved digestion: Stress and tension can negatively affect your digestive system. By relaxing the body and promoting better blood flow, cupping can improve overall digestion.
  3. Skin health: Cupping can improve skin inflammation, cellulite, and even acne, due to the increased blood flow.
  4. Relief from respiratory issues: Cupping therapy can also help with conditions such as asthma and bronchitis by relaxing muscles used in the breathing process.
  5. Mental wellness: By promoting relaxation and relieving stress, cupping can contribute to improved mental well-being.

Cupping in Combination with Chiropractic

Cupping therapy can be an excellent addition to your wellness regime, especially when paired with other chiropractic treatments. The synergistic effects of combining these therapies can amplify the benefits, providing a comprehensive approach to health and wellness.

Joint manipulation: The core of chiropractic care, joint manipulation, or spinal adjustments, realigns the spine to restore proper function and reduce pain. When used in conjunction with cupping, it can enhance the healing process by promoting increased circulation, thus bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the affected areas.

Massage therapy: Like cupping, massage therapy also focuses on relieving muscle tension and promoting relaxation. When used together, these two therapies can work to reduce inflammation, promote blood flow, and ease muscle stiffness more effectively.

Stability and strengthening exercises: These are designed to strengthen the body and increase stability. When cupping is introduced, it can help to relax the muscles and increase blood flow, making the exercises more effective and potentially speeding up recovery time.

Nutritional counseling: A chiropractor can provide advice on diet and nutrition to support your overall wellness. With the detoxifying effects of cupping therapy, your body may be better prepared to absorb nutrients and achieve a healthier balance.


Remember, everyone’s body and health needs are unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Always consult with your chiropractor before beginning any new treatments. At our clinic, we’re committed to creating personalized wellness plans that consider your specific needs and health goals. Together, we can explore how cupping therapy in Erie CO and other chiropractic techniques can help you live a more balanced, pain-free life.

If you’re interested in seeing a chiropractor or in a chiropractic adjustment, visit us at one of our offices in Erie or in Longmont. The Chiropractic Center of Erie and Chiropractic Center of Longmont treat the body holistically with our award-winning treatment process, in fact, we have been voted “Best of the West” thirteen times and our aim is to help your body achieve and maintain optimal performance.

We specialize in treating patients suffering from spinal pain and many other disorders and have helped several patients find relief without needing surgery. If you’d like to learn more about chiropractic care in Longmont or Erie or have questions about what to expect during your first chiropractor visit in Erie or Longmont, call our offices today at 303-828-3000 or 303-772-1950!

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Dr. David Ehrmantraut, DC, SFDN

Dr. David Ehrmantraut, DC, SFDN

Dr. Dave's clinics have received multiple accolades, being voted "Best of Boulder" and "Best of the West" nine times. He has treated numerous world-class athletes and is dedicated to providing the best results for his patients in the shortest possible time.