Cupping Therapy

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Cupping Therapy services offered in Gaithersburg, MD

If you experience frequent headaches or chronic musculoskeletal pain, consider cupping therapy for relief. Cupping therapy is an ancient practice that uses suction to increase circulation to specific areas. At Five Elements Acupuncture & Wellness, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine specialist Min Lu, MD, uses cupping therapy to treat a wide range of health problems. To make an appointment, call the office in Gaithersburg, Maryland, or book online today.

What is cupping therapy?

Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese practice that eases acute and chronic pain. During treatment, Dr. Lu places cups on different parts of the body, like your back, legs, arms, or chest. 

The cups create a vacuum, pulling your skin upward and increasing blood flow to the area. That stimulates your body’s natural healing process, relieving inflammation and tension. Additionally, it’s thought that cupping unclogs the pores, helping your body release toxins.

What types of health problems can benefit from cupping therapy?

Dr. Lu uses cupping therapy to treat a variety of health problems, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Respiratory issues, like asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • High blood pressure
  • Sports injuries

You might also benefit from cupping therapy if you work a physically demanding job. That’s especially true if you regularly experience neck, back, leg, or shoulder pain.

Are there different types of cupping therapy?

Yes. Dr. Lu offers several types of cupping therapy, including:

Dry cupping therapy

During dry cupping therapy, Dr. Lu places a series of glass or ceramic cups onto specific areas of your skin.

Before placing the cups, she carefully heats their insides. The heat causes suction, creating a vacuum that pulls on your skin. After Dr. Lu positions the cups, they increase blood flow to the area, relieving pain and inflammation while encouraging your body’s healing process.

Wet cupping therapy

Wet cupping is very similar to dry cupping. The difference is that Dr. Lu makes small incisions in your skin before heating the cups and creating the vacuums. The incisions allow toxins to leave your body, enhancing the benefits of cupping treatment.

What is recovery like after cupping therapy?

After cupping therapy, you can return to work and other activities right away. In the days following treatment, it’s normal to experience bruises and/or red marks on your skin where Dr. Lu placed the cups. These shouldn’t cause any discomfort and typically heal within a month.

Is cupping therapy safe?

Cupping therapy is safe and typically well-tolerated, but it isn’t for everyone. That’s especially true if you have an underlying medical condition that increases your risk of blood clots or bleeding, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or hemophilia.

To explore the benefits of cupping therapy, make an appointment at Five Elements Acupuncture & Wellness by calling the office or booking online today.