Cupping Benefits You Should Expect

Jun 26, 2023

The round reddish circles—a signature sign of cupping—started getting national and international attention back in 2016 when swimmer Michael Phelps stood on the block, covered in cupping circles, at the Olympic pool in Rio. Swimmers aren’t the only ones who have used myofascial decompression—the process better known as cupping—as one of their sports performance therapies. 

Olympic gymnasts, professional baseball players, NFL stars, NBA players, women’s soccer stars, and even Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson have been known to try cupping as part of their maintenance and recovery process. Cupping is a manual therapy technique that takes about 20 minutes per session; during the process of cupping, a trained therapist locates specific points for treatment, then places small cups on different parts of the body for several minutes. The therapy aspect works by creating a vacuum on the skin which pulls blood to the surface. The cup is then removed, leaving behind those telltale red circles. Cupping is known to have many great benefits for athletes. Read on to learn about cupping benefits you should expect: 

  • Less pain and tension. Because cupping can increase blood flow to injured or painful areas, it can help to reduce pain. It can also help to reduce muscle tension, which can also be helpful for pain relief. Cupping releases muscle tension, which can be beneficial for athletes as it can help to improve range of motion. 
  • Improved circulation. The increased blood flow that cupping brings to the treated area of the body can help promote cell repair. Improved circulation is good for athletes because it helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Better circulation can lead to a number of additional benefits such as better performance, reduced risk of injury, faster recovery, and improved overall health. Cupping can be particularly helpful for patients with spider and varicose veins, as it helps to increase circulation to specific parts. 
  • Reduced inflammation. Often athletes have turned to massage therapy or other forms of physical therapies to help with muscle stimulation. Cupping just takes this kind of intense therapy a bit further by targeting specific areas like the back, shoulders, stomach, legs, arms, or any specific muscle group the cups can attach to. 
  • Better athletic performance. All of the benefits of cupping can add up to major improvements in athletic performance. The effects of cupping can result in an increased range of motion and more flexibility, which is helpful for athletes of all kinds of sports. 
  • More effective digestion. Cupping has been shown to help with digestive health. In some cases, it can be used to help treat nausea; it can also be used to stimulate the digestive system. When cupping is done on the abdomen, it stimulates organs that aid in digestion and increases blood flow to the digestive tract. 
  • Faster recovery. For athletes with aches and pains or even soft tissue injury, cupping can be especially helpful. Cuppings is considered to be both a preventative and a recovery therapy. Because cupping targets the neural, hematological, and immunological systems in the body, it works to encourage holistic healing.

An integrated approach. At ROI, cupping can be part of an integrated approach to physical therapy that includes plans for nutrition, massage, performance training, and other therapies. The trained specialists at ROI use a hands-on, science-based approach for cupping therapy. ROI cupping sessions are personally tailored to help athletes achieve peak performance and optimal recovery.  

Are you ready to make cupping therapy part of your wellness and fitness journey? At ROI, you can work with sports therapists to explore some great ways to improve your health and athletic performance. Cupping can be a part of recovery or overall health for athletes of all kinds.  The trainers at ROI focus on the body’s movement system as they aim to help athletes to reach their best performance level. Whether your goal is to recover from injury, manage chronic pain, or improve your overall health, the experts at ROI can help you. The staff at ROI will help to design therapies and help for you to achieve great results and hit your performance goals. Learn more about ROI’s sports therapy services, and reach out at 512-962-9141.

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