Cupping therapy employs negative pressure rather than tissue compression as in massage. Suction cup therapy is a traditional time-honored treatment that is safe, comfortable, and effective for many health disorders. Athletes have found cupping to be beneficial for tightness in muscles and aiding recovery which is why it's a common treatment at Harris Chiropractic of Middleton, Idaho.


Cupping is one of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatments in human history. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Nordics, Celts, Ottoman Turks, Persians, Polish, Brazilians, Mayans, Aztecs, Russians, Slavs, Italians, Islamic Nations, and indigenous tribes in Africa all used multiple methods of cupping.

What Happens During Cupping Therapy?

Cupping lifts tissue upward away from underlying structures, creating more space, expanding pores, loosening areas of restriction, activating muscle spindles and relaxes contractile tissues, while re-training myofascial structures.

By creating suction and negative pressure, cupping therapy helps to release rigid soft tissue, loosens adhesions, lifts connective tissue, and brings blood flow to skin and muscles. 

Cups are positioned over the treatment area where a vacuum is created by reducing the pressure inside the cup, therefore stretching the underlying tissues into the cup.

What Is The Purpose of Cupping?

The purpose of Cupping therapy is to relieve the pain of sore tight muscles. Cupping provides a proliferation of oxygen rich and nutrient dense blood into the muscle tissue to reduce inflammation, increase range of motion, and alleviate pain.

What Ailments Can Be Treated With Cupping Therapy?

  • Sciatica

  • Poor circulation

  • Edema

  • Sports Injuries

  • Cellulite / stretch marks / surgical scars

  • Anxiety /insomnia

  • Neural tension

  • Headaches

  • Trigger points/myofascial adhesions

What Are Those Round Marks I See On People Who Undergo Cupping?

At the Olympics we see many of the athletes with telltale signs of cupping therapy -- the purple circles.

Although not every treatment creates discolorations (“Sha marks”) on the skin (usually colored from a light pink to a deep purple) they will sometimes appear.  These discolorations are not bruises, and will fade within a few hours up to 2 weeks from the treatment.  As treatments accumulate, marks will occur less and less. 

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