Cupping: Is it Worth the Hype? Cupping Theraphy Benefits

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Cupping: Is it Worth the Hype?

Published by Dr. Alden Clendenin

The goal of our chiropractor in Chicago is to always stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest techniques to help our patients. One technique that has come into the forefront in the past few years is cupping. Cupping is part of oriental medicine that dates back to 300 AD. In the 1950s, cupping was established as an official therapeutic practice across hospitals in China. Recent studies show that cupping is an effective way to reduce pain intensity and provide short-term benefits.

How Cupping Works

Through the use of a small glass cup or bamboo jars, cupping utilizes suction devices that are placed on the skin to help break up congestion by drawing congested blood towards the surface of the skin. In order to create the suction, you can swab rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, light it and put the cup directly against the skin. You can also place an inverted cup over a small flame or use an alcohol-soaked cotton pad to protect the skin. Keep in mind that flames are never used against the skin, and they are only used to create the heat that causes the suction.


Once the cups are on your skin, they can be moved across your skin, a process referred to as gliding cupping. The cups are typically left on your skin for around 10 minutes and the process can be compared to inverse massages.

Side Effects

You can expect mild bruises that will last 10 days or less. Other side effects include mild discomfort, skin infection and burns.


Beyond relieving pain, cupping can help clear congestion from a common cold and help control asthma. It has a detoxifying effect on the skin.

If you are interested in cupping or seeing our chiropractors in Chicago for another reason, please schedule an appointment with us!

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