My Experience with Cupping
I’m just new here but a classmate of mine taking Massage Therapy learned Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. He has extensive knowledge about anatomy and pathology. Well, his main therapy is cupping so he did this for many of us in our class.
One day, I asked him if he would try on me. I had hurt myself while playing hockey about 10 years ago. I was knocked into the boards and it was hard enough that the door to our bench opened up as I smashed into the boards — so, a hard hit to say the least. I was in severe pain the next day and nobody could help me. I went to the public clinic, the hospital and everybody thought I was just making stuff up.
After a couple of weeks of pain, I finally started to feel more myself although I’ve always been aware of the injury. It happened on the left side above my pelvic bone just to the left of my vertebrae so a low back injury.
So, I received 2 cupping sessions. The cupping sessions can be quite painful. It is most painful where there is the most pull on the skin. So, the more the cupping therapist wants to draw the blood to the surface, the stronger the pull in that area. It can feel quite painful in some spots. However, the benefits are well worth it because the results are quite permanent. Wherever, there is the most amount of repair required by the body, the red circles are darkest and deepest.
Since my two sessions, the fascia there has never caused me pain or tightness since and not even a little when I am feeling tired.
Everyone else in physical therapy, massage or chiropractic could identify that I had some low back tightness but nobody could provide a therapy to specifically address that spot of my body.
I can see how Michael Phelps would want to receive cupping to release tendons or fascial areas which have been damaged or overused.
My best guess for what is happening is that it increases circulation around the soft structures that don’t repair easily due to lack of natural blood circulation to that area. The flooding of blood into the general area leaves nutrients for repair and recovery of soft tissue which are not normally privy to the benefits of being a highly vascularized soft tissue structure.
However it works, it works great!