Kristen Marsh, PT, DPT, performing cupping therapy

“The use of cupping for treatment is an ancient technique,” says Kristen Marsh, PT, DPT. “It uses negative pressure to reduce adhesions, improve scar mobility, increase blood flow (to encourage healing) and decrease trigger points.”



“Typical soft tissue mobilization by physical therapists uses positive pressure. We press into the muscle and it is often very effective. Cupping, however, provides the opposite sensation. It gently lifts the skin and fascia away from the muscle as a suction force is created to promote mobility gains.”




“The cups are silicone or plastic and are either gently moved along the skin with a lubricant, or placed on one position.”




Blue silicone capsules or clear plastic capsules use negative pressure to gently lift skin and fascia



“Our patients often report feeling, “looser” afterwards and have demonstrated significant improvement in quality of movement and range of motion after only 1-2 minutes of cupping over the restricted muscle.”





“One patient with adhesive capsulitis, also known as ‘Frozen Shoulder’ gained nearly 20 degrees of overhead motion following cupping treatment. This enabled the patient to maximize flexibility and strength afterwards during conventional PT, due to the improved range of motion.”


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