Cupping therapy was first discussed in ancient medical textbooks in the Western world and has been described as a medical practice used by the Egyptians. There were also accounts of Hippocrates using the method of cupping therapy for internal diseases. This therapy has also been practiced in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Cupping therapy is an alternative form of medicine and is probably better known in traditional Chinese medicine, as is acupuncture.
The therapy was used with the help of bare animal horns and was a method used to treat snake bites and skin lesions. This method is supposed to remove toxins from the body. The application of suction cups over the years has evolved from the use of animal horns to the bamboo cup and then to the glass cup, as it is used today. Therapy suction cups can also be made of clay and silicone materials that can withstand exposure to high temperatures during the heating process.
Several other cultures have used cupping therapy as a method of treating several different conditions. The Chinese have reported using suction cups during surgical procedures as a way to help divert blood flow from the surgical site. American and European doctors have used suction cups to treat more common conditions, such as colds, chest infections, and congestion.
How much does cupping therapy cost?
Cupping is a form of therapy that can help relieve pain in different body parts and injuries. No matter if you need one session or six, it will be worth the investment for such relief. Usually, the cost of a 45 to 60 minutes session ranges from $30 to $65.
Cupping therapy costs vary according to the number of sessions. One session can cost as little as $55, while ten sessions could run you upwards of $470. The cost of 20 sessions is even higher at around $810 for a package deal.
Cupping therapy details
The technique involves the use of glass or metal cups from which the air is removed (by combustion or with a special device that creates a vacuum) and which are then applied to the skin. These, when they come in contact with the skin, due to lack of air, achieve punctual aspiration of the skin. Under these conditions, the superficial capillaries will break, and the blood circulation in the circle designated by the suction cup’s mouth increases significantly. The marks remain visible for about 2 weeks, and people swear they feel much better.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence in the medical literature to support this therapy as being beneficial to health. Some experts believe that the one that acts on well-being is the placebo effect.
There are three traditional methods of cupping therapy: dry therapy, wet therapy, and massage therapy.
Dry cupping therapy involves the use of suction cups (usually made of glass) which are preheated with a stick soaked in a flammable material, which burns inside the suction cup and absorbs oxygen from it, thus forming a vacuum. Immediately after the suction cup is heated by the flame, it is applied to the back and simply sucks the skin inside it, as a result of the vacuum created. The suction cup is left on the skin for about three minutes to take effect. The modern version of cupping involves using a pump (instead of fire) to create the vacuum.
Wet suction cups produce easier suction or a vacuum and can also be maintained for up to three minutes, just like suction cups used in dry therapy. However, during a wet suction therapy session, the therapist will make small cuts on the patient’s skin, usually using a sterilized scalpel, and then perform a second suction therapy session to remove some of the blood. It can take up to ten days for the patient’s skin to return to normal after a wet suction therapy session.
During massage therapy, the therapist can move to several areas on the skin. Suction cup massage has also been used to lose weight and reduce cellulite.
The therapist will first spend 10-20 minutes for massage to loosen up your muscles. This is followed by the cups being placed onto you, where they’ll stay for 20 more minutes. Usually, a session takes about 45 minutes to one hour depending on how many areas need treatment.
What are the extra costs?
The cupping therapist will recommend a minimum of five sessions during the first week to help with any residual pain. After that initial week, two or three more are recommended for continued relief.
For $10 to $20 extra dollars per visit, you can get foot treatments and hot stones.
Important things to consider
For those who suffer from chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety among other conditions such as fibromyalgia this treatment may be the solution.
Among the benefits of these therapies are: improving blood and lymph circulation, treating rheumatic diseases, treating fever (in antiquity, this was the purpose of cupping), detoxifying the body, but also stimulating cognitive functions.
While suction cups can cause more bruising and swelling on the surface of the skin, the procedure is relatively painless. The signs that appear after a therapy session can last from a few days to a few weeks. Bruising is not caused by any form of gross trauma. Therefore, they should not be painful.
This form of therapy should not be used by pregnant women and people with bone fractures or muscle spasms and the ones facing or may be suspected of having any form of cancer, such as metastatic cancer.
How can I save money?
The more items that are in stock for purchase up-front, the better! The same concept applies when it comes to purchasing therapy sessions. If there is an upcoming event or period where someone knows they’ll be experiencing increased stress and needs more than ten sessions to relax, then buying several upfront can help them save money.