Cupping Therapy VS Stretch Therapy
If you're looking for cupping therapy in India, read about the safety, benefits & what other best therapy alternatives you can choose between cupping therapy & Stretching therapy. This content in this article will also help you to gain a better understanding to dry/ wet cupping therapy, & Functional Stretch Therapy, & how you can choose if cupping is still best for you or stretch therapy.
While both of the therapies claim that it can help with:
What are the benefits of cupping vs Stretch Therapy?
While they both use different advice diagnosis or treatment, both are used to treat & manage pain caused by musculoskeletal dysfunctions.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping has been closely linked with traditional Chinese medicine & middle eastern. In some countries, cupping therapy practice is categorised under alternative medicine/ complementary medicine. There are two main cupping therapy types which is "dry cupping" & "wet cupping". Back in the 70s, the traditional Chinese medicine practice the use cupping with animal horns. Since the mind 80s, the introduction of glass cups made its way into mainstream chinese medicine, & have seen people using them in clinics around the world with traditional chinese medicine stopping the use of animal horns.
Starting in the early 2000s, vacuum cupping was used mostly with dry cupping for many health conditions, & is currently used by many who practice cupping therapy in different settings such as clinics, gyms, spa & so on. They apply the suction via the rubber pump & into the cup, pulling the skin into what is known as negative pressure.
Most physiotherapist outside of India feels that cupping places most of the suction treatment effects, on a placebo effect. Cupping therapists except TCM(traditional Chinese medicine physicians) are also never to give any form of medical advice/ diagnosis as they are not qualified to do so.
What is Stretching Therapy?
Functional Stretch Therapy(FST) is a systematic approach table-based treatment, using a combination of neuromuscular techniques, breathing, traction, & fascia work on the body to help with common musculoskeletal conditions(eg neck pain, lower back, spine, etc). Its is performed by therapists that has gone through a rigorous 8 weeks of clinical training, followed by exams case studies, theory tests on the human body before they can qualify for the title Functional Stretch Therapist.
The session for FST can be customised for the client or patient to help improve a whole range of benefits:
Is there any side effect of Functional Stretch Therapy(FST)?
To date, there have been no known side effects for FST as its gentle, & non-invasive without any form of suction or negative pressure on the skin. The techniques used are clinically safe for any age & condition.
Is cupping therapy safe?
Contrary to the public's belief, cupping can be unsafe(low risk) if done under any practitioner that has not gone through rigorous training for both dry & wet cupping(discussed below). Even in the lower chances, there is still a small risk of screw-ups(just as pictured above)
Nowadays, the numbers of healthcare provider around the globe picking up cupping is seeing an increase due to the potential health benefits but the efficacy of cupping therapy still need updated review. Cupping on the skin for some people may cause a reaction due to the blood flow that has hyperalgesia, & other skin conditions such as eczema/flaky, or frail skin(older people).
Are there any side effects of cupping therapy?
Generally speaking, there aren't bad side effects from cupping therapy if the practitioner has gone through a thorough medical & health information background check. Cupping may, however, cause a slight discoloration on the skin from the vacuum pressure stopping the blood vessels' flow.
Is cupping therapy painful?
If done correctly, cupping is not, & should never be painful. Though there may be a slight skin discolouration on the body after cupping therapy treatment, it shouldn't become a bruise that is painful(that is how you know you've gone to the wrong cupping practitioner). This is because the cups may have ruptured too many blood vessels /capillaries below the skin, & this is when cupping may be excruciatingly painful. Sliding techniques used on the skin during treatment by many practitioners can also cause major discomfort in some people if not applied appropriately under a trained hand, & can cause some conditions to get worse.
NOTE: If pain persists a week after a cupping session, it's best for you to seek medical advice, diagnosis or treatment to ensure that it hasn't been any form of skin infection that cupping/ cups may cause if dressing of the area wasn't done prior to treatment, or the cups are not disinfected properly.
Is Stretching Therapy painful?
Some slight discomfort from gentle stretching is normal, but the session is never painful & there is constant communication between FST practitioner & client to ensure comfort. Most clients who are being stretched during an FST session falls asleep(talk about comfort).
What is Hijama used for?
Hijama, also known as wet cupping therapy is famously known for drawing blood into the cups(claims to relief people of illneses & diseases). However consumers must be aware & refuse any cupping therapist that uses plastic cups, or silicone cups to do wet cupping therapy as disinfection of the used cupping on the body may infect you which may cause life-threatening conditions. Always, & we mean always, ask what types of cups(glass, silicone, or plastic), & walk away if they are using plastic cups on the skin. The effectiveness of cupping using Hijama techniques still needs a review of efficacy as it's still lacking in research on treatment service, using cups & drawing blood for many bold health claims which may cause more health complications.
NOTE: If you have pain & thinking about cupping, always seek medical advice. Stretch therapy on the other hand is gentle enough for you to try.
Find a Functional Stretch Therapist in India
For more information on how to avoid side effects cupping, find information on how you can search for an FST practitioner in India near you.
Articles review of the efficacy on cupping can be found here.
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