Are You Curious About Cupping?
You’ve probably seen cupping marks and might wonder why people from celebrities to professional athletes rave about the benefits of cupping. Most people who have seen the marks on athletes understand that cupping is great for muscle tension, pain, inflammation, and recovery. You have probably even seen cupping marks on the backs of people in your yoga class right here in Washington, DC. The benefits of cupping go beyond just pain relief, however. We use cupping for support with lung conditions such as asthma, the common cold, symptoms of long-COVID, and even for migraine prevention.
Benefits of Cupping
Cupping can be used in various parts of the body to treat pain. Some popular places to cup include the back, neck, and knee. Cupping alleviates pain by improving circulation and blood flow. This releases a cascade of neurotransmitters and endorphins that leave you feeling better immediately.
In addition, cupping is wonderful to open the airways—this is great for patients with asthma, allergies, and other lung issues.
Cupping is frequently used in conjunction with acupuncture to treat many types of pain. Cups are applied to the body with suction. This suction increases circulation by mechanically drawing more blood to the area. Cupping also releases muscle knots and adhesions by pulling up the soft tissue and allowing it to separate. You can think of it as a deep tissue massage but in reverse!
Acupuncture and Cupping
If you’re in pain, our acupuncturists will often use a combination of cupping and acupuncture to treat your symptoms. This combination delivers the best results: short term pain relief and circulation increase through cupping and addressing deeper issues and promoting long term healing with acupuncture.
Combining acupuncture with cupping delivers the best results
Gua sha and cupping release adhesions to promote faster healing and pain relief.
Cupping and Gua Sha
Gua Sha is performed by first applying massage oil to the affected area, then moving the tool in a pushing or scraping motion across the skin. This motion forces adhesions in the fascia and superficial muscle layer to release, which relieves pain and increases circulation allowing the area to properly heal.
What We Treat
Cupping is one of our favorite modalities to treat chronic and acute pain. Because cupping is also helpful to alleviate stress and tension, many of our patients also find it helpful for tech neck caused by stress and overwork. Cupping is also great for treating upper respiratory issues such as asthma and the common cold, especially when combined with customized herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Chronic and Acute Pain
Fertility and Perinatal Care
Conditions We Treat With Cupping and Gua Sha
Cupping is the go-to technique our acupuncturists use for immediate pain relief, whether the condition is chronic (like long-term back pain) or acute (a migraine). Cupping is also especially effective at helping resolve issues with the lungs, such as asthma:
Cupping for back pain offers instant relief! The back is the most commonly cupped area on the body. Cupping can relieve muscle knots from tension as well as treat severe back pain like sciatica. For muscle knots, our acupuncturists will cup your upper back and scapula, while for sciatica, they’ll work on the lower back, glutes, and piriformis for pain relief.
We’re now a society that spends a lot of time hunched over our computers or phones, and our necks suffer the consequences. We call that pain and stiffness “tech neck.”
Cupping for neck pain can help. Our acupuncturists will cup your trapezius muscle (which runs between the shoulder and neck) and along the scapula going up to the base of the neck. This will reduce tension, increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness, and alleviate pain.
Knee pain means not being able to move the way you want to. Cupping for knee pain can alleviate pain and help you get back to your normal lifestyle. Cupping will increase the blood flow around the knee to help treat postoperative knee pain, arthritis, meniscus tears, and ACL or MCL tears.
Cupping for headaches is one part of a multifaceted approach to head pain. Our acupuncturists will typically cup the neck and down the back to decrease headaches. This will promote blood flow, reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and release serotonin. Cupping is also great for headache prevention.
Cupping for migraines can not only treat active migraines but also help to prevent future migraines. Cupping can reduce pain and help recover from a current migraine. It can also help reduce the triggers that cause migraines—like stress or lack of sleep—by alleviating tension and allowing other areas of the body to function properly.
Cupping for asthma can help prevent your next asthma attack. Our acupuncturists will cup your back to open your chest and help you breathe easier.
Cupping can also help reduce pain between the ribs caused by asthma. Cupping has been shown to improve pulmonary function. Additionally, our herbal medicine can help reduce seasonal allergies, which often exacerbates asthma.
Colds & Flu
Cupping for cold and flu excels at preventing severe and lingering symptoms. The first symptom of cold and flu is often body aches in the upper back and neck, and cupping is excellent at resolving these body aches.
Treating these early symptoms with cupping reduces their severity and can help prevent the symptoms from growing into something more serious—such as a full sinus infection or bronchitis. This will allow you to recover faster and get back to your life.
Your Acupuncture Treatment Plan
Your journey to better health begins before you step through our doors. You'll be able to easily schedule an appointment online as well as fill out your health history form before you arrive at our office—maximizing conversational and treatment time with your acupuncturist.
At your first appointment, your acupuncturist will discuss your health history, get input from you on what your treatment goals are, and develop a treatment plan. They'll then treat you using whatever services are best suited to your specific symptoms.
Although plans vary depending on the patient, most typically run for four weeks. At the end of your first visit, your acupuncturist will give you a written treatment plan. At subsequent visits, you'll discuss your symptoms and whether they've improved, regressed, or stayed the same. Your acupuncturist will adjust the treatment plan based on your input and their ongoing diagnosis of your condition.
When your main complaint is resolved, you can reduce treatment or work on another symptom. Still thinking it over? Take a look at our Testimonials page to see what other patients are saying.
Experience Fast Pain Relief
Cupping provides some of the fastest pain relief our acupuncturists can supply. That immediate relief is coupled with physical effects that help your body to heal faster. It gives strong symptom relief over several days and can help you forget about your tech neck, back pain, knee pain, headaches, and migraines. Cupping is also great for those who suffer from lung issues and symptoms of long-COVID such as shortness of breath.
Are you looking for pain relief? Head to our Booking page and schedule your first appointment.
We’re in-network with CareFirst/BlueCross, Aetna, and Cigna and are happy to check your insurance benefits for you.
The Cherry Blossom Team