Cupping is Here at Acupuncture of Iowa

DSC01060Laura has been practicing cupping since 1982. She finds cupping is very helpful for many conditions. We traditionally used fire cupping with glass cups, but with modern concerns about infection control, we have largely moved to silicone cups or plastic cups which can be used for just one patient and not shared. They are very comfortable and effective. Cupping is completely safe when done by a trained professional. It is most commonly used for chronic muscle spasms, tight neck and shoulders, tight lower back, and other parts of the body. It may leave some pink or purple circles on the body, but they will go away after a few days. We can repeat the cupping once a week or so until the muscle spasm stops returning. Often we combine cupping with acupuncture, which we’ve produces the very best results for most people.

DSC02330Pictured above is a patient who is having cupping and being treated with traditional glass fire cups, in addition to electro acupuncture on the low back.

Cupping is traditionally done using a bit of alcohol on a cotton ball. This is burning and inserted and quickly withdrawn from the cupping, providing suction. Modern cupping methods may involve using soft silicone cups, plastic cups with a suction pump, or glass cups with suction pump. All of these methods can be effective in reducing pain and spasms.

People sometimes confuse or associate cupping with moxibustion. They are two different therapies used for different reasons and rarely at the same time.

Therapeutic cupping is used in countries all over the world, and has been an integral component of asian medicine for centuries. Many people became enthusiastic about cupping after the 2016 summer Olympics where athletes were seen having cups applied, and displayed the marks of cupping on their bodies. This was a great boost for helping the public become familiar with this wonderful treatment.