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Since the 2016 Summer Olympics when American gold medal winner Michael Phelps exited the pool with round purple marks on his back, cupping therapy’s garnered a lot of hype from mainstream media.

What is cupping? Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy that seeks to address stagnant blood and blocked energies in the body. To address a wide variety of health issues, practitioners apply cups – usually made from glass or silicone – on the body and suction is applied to pull the skin/muscles upward.

How does cupping work? Cupping works by leaving the cups suctioned to the body and/or moving them around. Doing this increases blood flow to the affected area which is believed to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.

What are some of the conditions cupping is used for? Cupping is used for a wide variety of different conditions, including predominantly as treatment for chronic pain including upper and lower back pain, as well as headaches. Cupping therapy is widely recognized for relieving stress and affecting various internal mechanisms in the body known to use stress to manifest negative symptoms.

Does cupping work for detoxification? Many people use cupping for detoxification as well, although very little scientific evidence supports this purpose. Even so, many claim it has helped them detoxify and has left them feeling significantly better through regular treatments.

Should I try cupping? If you’re suffering from a stiff back, tense muscles, or are carrying stress around in your shoulders, neck, and back, cupping therapy might be something to try. Every day, most of us carry terrible posture and are hunched over our computers or smartphones. All of this leads to physical pain. Inflammation increases in these areas as well and that only compounds the stress on our bodies. Cupping’s a way to reduce inflammation and attract immune cells to the location of an injury, thereby increasing its repair and recovery.

Is there scientific evidence to back up cupping? Yes, actually, there are several studies supporting cupping therapy as a way to reduce chronic pain. There are several things we know verifiable about cupping as well – it does cause a circulation increase, as an example. Sadly, there are not many studies examining cupping massage therapy for other uses outside of chronic pain and stress-related conditions. Even the studies supporting cupping as a possible chronic pain treatment are quick to be mentioned as ‘inconclusive’, according to non-believers. As cupping’s relatively new to the mainstream world, we hope to see more studies published soon examining the other benefits that have been associated with it.

Shop your cupping sets and accessories from Try cupping therapy for yourself and see why so many are going to it for stress relief, pain relief, and more.

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