Boost Your Athletic Performance with Cupping Therapy?
Updated: Apr 13
Cupping therapy is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment that involves placing suction cups on the skin to stimulate specific points along the body. It is often used as a complementary therapy to acupuncture to help to alleviate a wide range of conditions. This TCM modality has been gaining popularity among high-performance athletes. Olympians such as Michael Phelps and Simone Biles, as well as professional athletes like LeBron James, have incorporated cupping into recovery routines to boost athletic performance.
Cupping helps to stimulate blood flow and relaxes tight muscle tissue. It also aids in the removal of toxins and waste products from the body. This ancient therapy is now being embraced by modern athletes as a way to improve performance and reduce the recovery time between workouts. But how does cupping therapy work and is it actually effective for athletic performance? Let's take a closer look.
Health Wise is a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture clinic in Hong Kong with over thirty years of experience. We aim to deliver the best Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments in the city. To make an appointment, feel free to contact us today, our friendly staff will be happy to help. Learn more about cupping at Health Wise by visiting our cupping page.
Call: +852 2526 7908
Whatsapp: +852 9855 2840
What is Cupping?
Cupping For Athletic Performance
What Is Cupping?
Cupping is a non-invasive Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment. Practitioners create a vacuum that is quickly applied to the skin. The resultant low pressure in the cup-to-body space causes a localized expansion of the tissue. This causes a vasodilatation reaction that provides a range of benefits.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cupping helps to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. TCM also uses cupping to help to clear toxins in the body and improve overall health and well-being. Cupping may be used in conjunction with acupuncture for even better results.
But wait a minute, how is cupping therapy beneficial for athletic performance?
Cupping For Athletic Performance?
Why are people using cupping to try to improve athletic performance?
Cupping therapy can lift muscles and increase blood flow (One advantage of cupping therapy is that it can cause less discomfort than techniques like tuina or massage, as it creates a lifting effect rather than pressing down)
Helps to relax and loosen tight soft tissue and break up adhesions
Assist with the removal of toxins and waste products from the body.
Cupping has become the subject of multiple scientific studies. Some studies have yielded promising results that suggest cupping may be effective in improving athletic performance and recovery.
Research On Cupping For Athletic Performance
A very interesting study conducted in 2022 looked at the “Effects of dry cupping therapy and creatine supplementation on inflammatory and cardiovascular responses to the Wingate test in handball players” (The Wingate test is a laboratory-based exercise test that is used to measure an individual's anaerobic power, which is the ability to produce energy in the absence of oxygen). The study was conducted on twelve male handball young players and concluded that Dry Cupping Therapy and Creatine Supplementation lead to beneficial effects on cardiovascular function, including changes in heart rate as well as blood biomarkers among handball players following the Wingate test.
In another study published in 2021, the researchers were investigating the ‘Immediate and Delayed Effects of Cupping Therapy on Reducing Neuromuscular Fatigue’ and hypothesized that a significant increase in blood flow after cupping therapy may effectively improve recovery from muscle fatigue. The results of the study demonstrated that cupping therapy had a significant delayed effect, but unfortunately, no immediate effect was found on its ability to reduce muscle fatigue. More research is still needed to fully understand its potential benefits.
Cupping Treatments at Health Wise
Cupping is considered safe when performed by a trained practitioner. However, as with any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects to consider. Some people may experience skin irritation from the suction of the cups.
Cupping treatments by our certified practitioners are both safe and effective. You can opt for the cupping-only session, or add cupping to your acupuncture session. The benefits of cupping tend to increase over time and can yield long-term health benefits.
If you are considering cupping therapy as a way to improve athletic performance, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider or a trained cupping practitioner before starting treatment. Make an appointment at Health Wise, and come in for a consultation to find out if it’s right for you.
Call: +852 2526 7908
Whatsapp: +852 9855 2840
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