Capitol Rehab of Arlington is pleased to announce a new service that we will offer to our clients, a special skin-level healing treatment called “cupping.”

Cupping gained national attention during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when Michael Phelps showed up to complete in the 4×100 meter relay with unusual, circular, purple bruises. It sparked curiosity among viewers, but cupping is commonly used by many elite athletes to improve circulation, recover faster, and reduce soreness.

Capitol Rehab’s new massage therapist Zach Guzman is trained in medical cupping and has answered some frequently asked questions about it:

What is cupping?

Cupping is an ancient healing modality that uses glass or silicone cups and a vacuum effect to help to bring blood to the surface of the skin. The process can be done either dry or wet.

Who is a good candidate for cupping?

People who are active and experiencing overall muscle tightness. Athletes find it especially helpful for recovery. Also, people who experience pain or symptoms such as frozen shoulder, tight hamstrings, and lower back tightness.

Cupping is NOT recommended for women who are pregnant, patients on blood thinners, or with bulging discs.

Does cupping hurt? Are the circular marks permanent?

No, cupping does not hurt. It feels like a gentle vacuum suctioning the skin. It will leave a reddish or purple circle on the skin for a few days, which also do not feel painful despite its appearance. Cupping does not damage the muscle tissue.

Do you use fire in your sessions?

Some places use fire in their treatments, but we do not. At Capitol Rehab of Arlington, we will use an air pump and silicone cups. The silicone cups will be placed upside down on the patient’s skin, and the air pump will be used to suction the skin.

Are you interested in this new service? Have more questions? Our staff is always ready to answer any questions you may have about our services. Feel free to contact us to find out more, or to schedule an appointment!