Hidden Rhythm Acupuncture
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What is Cupping?

Cupping is a technique developed in China where a small container or cup is applied to the surface of the skin. A vacuum is applied to the air within the cup resulting in the skin and muscle tissue being drawn or sucked up into the cup. A lubricant such as massage oil applied to the skin beforehand allows the cup to slide across the skin, even with a high vacuum within the cup. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it was first mentioned by Taoist herbalists in 341 A.D.

Cups were initially made from bamboo or clay and used to drain pustules or cysts. Modern cups are made from glass or plastic where a vacuum is created by either 1) rapidly heating the air within the cup before it is placed on the skin. As the air cools, a low pressure condition is achieved within the cup space thus creating a vacuum or 2) manually pumping the air from the cup using a one-way valve built into the cup.

The vacuum pulls skin and muscle tissue up into the cup space, thus creating space between the facia layers that may have been eliminated due to compacted muscles/spasming/prolonged tension.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we say that cupping helps remove cold in the channels, moves stasis, and eliminates wind-cold condition.

In modern terms, cupping is used to promote blood circulation, reduce swelling and pain, help with gastro-intestinal disorders, and treat lung diseases. The most common application for cupping in the US is along very tight muscles, such as those in the upper back and shoulders.
Prolonged tension can lead to impeded blood circulation, restricted lymphatic flow, and pinched nerves leading down to the hands. Cupping is a great way to lift the tissue and release tension in this area, allowing proper circulation and release of compacted nerves.

At our tempe acupuncture clinic we use often use cupping for several conditions including tight neck and shoulder areas.


Attention Military Veterans. We are now registered with Tri-West and proud to help support our brothers and sisters who’ve served. On referral from you VA doctor, we encourage you try acupuncture and laser therapy for a wide range of your health needs!