Prairie Therapy Teaches You Everything You Need To Know About Cupping in Calgary

Cupping in Calgary is a Chinese Medicine technique used for centuries for many different conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors commonly use cupping as an adjunct therapy to acupuncture. For people with needle fears, cupping can offer an excellent alternative treatment. What was once a mysterious medicine is now mainstream in western therapy due to its numerous health benefits.

What is Cupping?​

To perform cupping, the acupuncturist places glass, bamboo, or silicone cups on the skin, creating a vacuum-like seal. There are different techniques for making this vacuum, including lighting an alcohol-soaked cotton ball inside the cup or attaching suction pumps to the end of the cups. There are two types of popular cupping techniques, fixed and gliding cups. Fixed cups are where one or several cups are placed in the treatment zone for 5-10 minutes. Gliding cups are when a topical ointment is placed on the skin. Then the cups gently move across the skin, usually along meridians or fascia/muscle planes.

Does Cupping Hurt?

When cupping is completed by a trained professional, it is very safe and should not hurt. Depending on the amount of suction and the state of the underlying tissues, cupping can leave circular skin marks ranging from a light yellow to pinkish red to dark purple. From an acupuncture perspective, the darker the patterns, the more stagnation of Qi and blood in that area.

How Can I Benefit From Cupping?

Stagnation leads to pain and dysfunction within tissues, so cupping—like acupuncture—aims to clear the stagnation before it causes problems. From a Western standpoint, cupping creates more space between the tissue layers to eliminate dead cellular debris and excess fluids and toxins. It also breaks up scar tissue. The marks are caused by this debris being pulled up and deposited under the skin, which is actually the most effective place for the lymphatic system to drain it away.

When the cups are placed on the skin, the superficial muscle layer is drawn into the cup. This stimulates blood circulation, breaking up adhesions, and creating a pathway for toxins to be removed from the body through the lymphatic system. Cupping impacts blood vessels, fascia, muscles, and scar tissue. Cupping decompresses adhesions and scar tissue, relaxes muscles in spasm, decreases trigger-point pain, and decreases tissue changes and inflammation following trauma. Cumulative treatments increase muscle endurance, circulation, and lymphatic drainage. They enhance athletes’ overall ability to recover from workouts and strenuous activity.

acupuncturist using fire cupping on woman's back

How Much Does Cupping Cost?

A cupping session in Calgary typically costs between $55-80 and lasts 30 minutes. At Prairie Therapy, a 30-minute cupping session costs $65.00. It is performed by Elizabeth Ives, Registered Acupuncturist. Most extended health benefits can help cover the costs of these sessions.

Where Should I Go For A Cupping Session?

Massage, physio, and chiro use cupping to complement their other techniques. They typically use gliding cups to remove soft tissue tension. Historically Chinese Medicine was one of the first to offer cupping as a healing therapy. We recommend seeing a Registered Acupuncturist to reap the full benefits of cupping. They work on relaxing soft tissue and have several techniques to realign Qi, remove toxins, improve circulation, improve lymph drainage, and much more. Liz has been an Acupuncturist since 2016 and is extremely skilled at her practice.

Click here to book a cupping session.


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