The Benefits of Cupping Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Just as it is important to know what medical treatments will be most beneficial to treating your fibromyalgia symptoms, it is equally important to know what alternative therapies can offer you relief.  Why? Unlike medications, the vast majority of alternative therapies do not cause negative side effects.

There are different alternative remedies that have effectively alleviated pain in some fibromyalgia sufferers.  One such therapy that has become a popular treatment for fibromyalgia sufferers is known as cupping therapy. 

What is cupping therapy?  Cupping therapy is an adapted form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves applying glass cups to the skin to help alleviate pain, expel toxins, and restore proper circulation to the body.  Each glass cup acts as a vacuum through the use of heat or a suction pump.  The cups are positioned on a variety of specific trigger points (the same as those used in acupuncture) on the body, and are typically left on the body for ten – fifteen minutes.

There are two main types of cupping therapy used:
1. Massage cupping – During treatment, the glass cups are moved in a massage pattern around the skin to help massage sore joints and muscles.
2. Stationary cupping – During treatment, glass cups are applied to the skin and not moved until the end of the session.

How is a cupping session performed?
A cupping session is generally performed using the following tools: glass cups, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, candles and matches.  Each of these tools is applied during a session as follows:

- A cotton ball is soaked in alcohol and lit on fire by a burning candle
- A vacuum is created inside a glass cup by holding the lit cotton ball inside the cup.
- Once the vacuum is created the cotton ball is removed and the cup is immediately applied to the designated acupuncture point on the skin.
- Four-six cups are applied during a session and are not left on the skin for longer than fifteen minutes.

Although a cupping session may sound painful, it is nothing of the sort.  In fact, usually the only thing a person feels is a slight suction where each cup is placed.  After a session, you may have circular red marks on your skin from the cups.  These red marks will fade and are a sign that the cupping therapy has successfully increased the blood flow within your body.

How does cupping benefit fibromyalgia? After each session, patients usually report feeling deeply relaxed, and their specific target cupping areas feel light and agile.  This is due to the fact that cupping works to improve circulation, helps release toxins form the body, and promotes quicker healing of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Other benefits reported by fibromyalgia sufferers include:
- Relief from pain or stiffness in the muscles and tissues
- Reduction of painful trigger points
- Improves flexibility in muscles and overall range of motion
- Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
- Relieves stress

Cupping is a safe treatment for fibromyalgia sufferers as it does not aggravate their condition.

You should not perform cupping treatment on your own, nor should you let a person not qualified.  If you are interested in finding a cupping therapist, the best place to start your search is at local spas or holistic treatment centers.  It’s also a good idea to ask your massage therapist about cupping therapy.  If you don’t have a massage therapist, try searching online by using your city and “cupping therapy” as the main keywords. 
If you haven’t already done so, sign up for a free newsletter & discover proven natural methods to help you combat the pain and frustration of Fibromyalgia. Discover more about the different fibromyalgia relief options on the rest of the site and whether cupping is an effective natural cure for fibromyalgia.

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