Chronic pain of any kind can disrupt your life, but chronic headaches, which can cause additional problems such as nausea, light sensitivity, and fatigue even after the headache is over, are especially problematic. You may not be able to stop what you’re doing and go to a quiet, darkened room, yet you may not have a choice if you have chronic headaches.
An ancient healing practice
Like acupuncture, cupping has been used for many years in traditional, or folk medicine, in various parts of the world. Also similar to acupuncture, cupping has a few potential side effects and risks — and many people have found relief through both therapies.
Dry and Wet
There are two different types of cupping, dry and wet. The difference is that with wet cupping, your provider makes tiny cuts in your skin to cause blood to flow during the process.
Cupping, as you might have guessed, involves cups. They can be made of a variety of materials, including bamboo, ceramic, glass, silicone, or plastic. The cups are placed on your skin and suction occurs, pulling some of your skin up into the cup.
The suction may be achieved with heat — your practitioner may use a substance to create a fire inside the cup, then when it goes out, place it on your skin. The cooling air inside the cup creates a suction.
Some cups use small pumps to remove the air and create suction.
In wet cupping, the suction draws your blood out of the small cuts. In dry cupping, no blood is involved.
Benefits of cupping
Although there hasn’t been nearly as much research into if, how, or why cupping works as there has been into acupuncture, the best theory is that it improves your circulation. It may also open your pores, allowing toxins to escape.
Whatever the reason, cupping has been used for thousands of years because people get results. If it didn’t work, it would have fallen out of use with the rise of modern medicine.
When cupping is combined with other treatments, such as massage or acupuncture, there are even more positive outcomes. At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, cupping is almost always part of a larger treatment plan.
Side effects of cupping
Cupping will leave marks on your skin. They may look painful, but cupping itself is not. Most of our patients enjoy the sensations they feel while undergoing cupping.
In rare cases, particularly when administered by someone who hasn’t had proper training, wet cupping can cause problems such as anemia or infection. However, for the vast majority of patients, the only real side effect of cupping are marks on your skin from the suction.
One of the big advantages of coming to Family Acupuncture and Wellness is that you’re in the hands of highly-trained professionals. Our providers maintain their understanding through continuous education and are extremely well-qualified.
If you’d like to learn more about how cupping can help relieve your chronic headaches, book an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness today. You can request an appointment online at any time, or feel free to give our office a call.