Cupping: An Alternative Way to Stay in the Game

Print icon

Athletes will go to great lengths to take care of their bodies. Some, like Olympic Gold Medalist Michal Phelps and New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison, turn to alternative medicine techniques like cupping to help them recover from the rigors of competition.

Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern culture as a way to treat pain, muscle stiffness, and other physical ailments. The therapy works on the myofascial system of the body, a thin film between the skin and muscles, and involves placing cups on the skin and using either a pump or heat to create suction. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain and remove toxins within body tissue. The suction causes blood vessels near the surface of the skin to rupture and leave a bruise, which is often purple or deep red.

“The intent of cupping is to decompress tissue and help improve blood flow,” said Stefanie Bourassa the Sports Medicine Clinical Program Director for the Center for Musculoskeletal Health at Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute. “It’s a very effective way to treat the myofascial system.”

While there are some potential side effects that can accompany the treatment, including skin irritation, nausea and swelling, Bourassa, who is certified in cupping therapy, believes that it can be very beneficial.

“I’ve personally seen fantastic results with this therapy,” she said. “People I have treated have seen increased range of motion, improved blood flow and, overall, they are able to move better.”

Learn more about all of our sports health related services at mysportshealth.org

 


What's New

Three young couples on the beach.

Summer Countdown: 9 Health Benefits of Sunshine

Usually, at this time of year, we like to warn people about the dangers of too much sunshine or too little protection from sunshine. Not today, with the state reopening after so many weeks of self-quarantine during COVID-19. In so many ways, glorious sunshine is good for your health. Here...


Working at Home Now? Here’s How to Work Out While You Work.

For many working adults now working at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, one thing hasn’t changed: The 9-to-5 routine still involves a lot of time sitting down, whether it’s sitting in a desk chair for eight hours or sitting through long virtual meetings. At least you don’t have to...

Workout

Here’s Your Exercise Plan During COVID-19 Pandemic

Now that your gym is closed and you’re staying home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it doesn’t mean you need to skip exercising. “The best example of aerobic exercise is sustained walking,” said Dr. Darren Tishler, director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford HealthCare. “Biking (both stationary and...

Jeffrey A. Flaks

A Message From Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks

With the concerns about coronavirus and COVID-19, I want to assure you that Hartford HealthCare is doing everything possible to protect the safety and well-being of the people and the communities we serve, and our team of healthcare providers. Our goal is to be ready and prepared for whatever is...

Jefferson House

Jefferson House Receives National Best Nursing Home Designation

Jefferson House, a skilled nursing, outpatient rehabilitation and palliative care community at 1 John H. Stewart Drive in Newington, recently received the highest Best Nursing Homes Rating from U.S. News & World Report. Jefferson House, a not-for-profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, received the top “high performing” rating for...