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What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping Treatment                    

The Art and Science of Cupping

By now you’ve probably heard of or experienced cupping. Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps sporting nothing but a speedo and purple cupping circles while winning gold in 2016 drew a storm of media attention to this ancient healing practice. Hollywood movies (ie: The Godfather, part 2) have cupping scenes, while celebrities have exposed their cupping marks on the red carpet. If you have relatives from other parts of the world, perhaps you got to experience the benefits in childhood. Or maybe your first encounter with cupping was (or will be!) on your acupuncturist’s treatment table.

Cupping therapy has managed to stay on trend for some years now, but it’s long since proven its staying power. Cupping therapy spread throughout Europe during the Renaissance. It dates back much further though, to ancient Egyptian, Greek, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C. [1]

China is famous for cupping and its use there also dates back thousands of years. The earliest record of cupping in China was from the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD). [2] Back then, cupping was applied using cattle horns or cross sections of bamboo. Now, Chinese Medicine Practitioners generally use round glass or plastic cups.

2018 review of studies noted that cupping therapy has reported benefits for a variety of conditions that can be categorized as either localized or systematic diseases.

Cupping is thought to alleviate symptoms by promoting peripheral (close to the skin) blood circulation and improving immunity.

According to the 2018 review, the effects of cupping therapy include:

  • promoting the skin’s blood flow
  • changing the skin’s biomechanical properties
  • increasing pain thresholds
  • improving local anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism
  • reducing inflammation
  • boosting cellular immunity

According to a 2017 study, the mechanical effect of cupping increases local blood flow and stretches underlying tissue.

Activation of Heme oxygenase-1, a gene that plays a critical role in the prevention of vascular inflammation, could account for many of cupping therapy’s claimed local and systemic health benefits.

There are four main categories of cupping performed today:

  • Dry cupping: a suction-only method
  • Running cupping: involves moving suctioned cups around the body after applying oil to massage the desired area
  • Flash cupping: involves quick, repeated suction and release of cups on an area of the body
  • Wet/bleeding cupping: may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding

Traditionally, all cupping involved a flammable substance set on fire and placed in a cup. As the fire goes out, the cup is turned upside down on your skin, creating a vacuum. Wet cupping involves bloodletting enhanced by the suction of the cups. This is thought to draw out thick, stagnant blood, generating healing through improved blood flow. Dry cupping is the most commonly used method in most modern clinics today and is any type of cupping that doesn’t involve a puncture to draw blood. During stationary cupping, the cup is generally left in place for up to 3 minutes. Moving (aka sliding) cupping is where the skin is lubricated with oil to allow for massage-like strokes with the cups as they create a gliding suction over areas of the body such as the back muscles. A convenient cupping tool used by many acupuncturists today uses a pump instead of fire to create a vacuum. This style allows for the use of smaller cups to work with bony joints and even face muscles. Some therapists also use silicone cups, which are easily maneuvered with a squeeze of the hand to create the desired level of suction.

Biomedical research has found that cupping does, in fact, increase local blood flow through microcirculation and capillary cell repair [3], and wet cupping has been shown to help remove toxins from the blood. [4]

One of the reasons it has stood the test of time is because it is safe and beneficial for so many conditions. Here are some examples of uses where research supports effectiveness[5] [6] :

Cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:

  • lower back pain
  • neck and shoulder pain
  • headache and migraine
  • knee pain
  • immune support
  • facial paralysis
  • cough and dyspnea
  • acne
  • lumbar disc herniation
  • cervical spondylosis
  • brachialgia
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • hypertension
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • asthma

So, the big question is: How does it feel?

Like a massage! (especially the sliding cups) but instead of a push, you feel a pull. Patients sometimes describe it as ‘a good hurt’, followed by a release of pressure. A good practitioner will communicate with you to find your balance point to make sure it is a relaxing, comfortable experience. And yes, you may leave with the famous ‘cupping marks’, but these are not bruises, as they are not caused by injury and do not hurt, rather they are evidence that stagnation has been released.

While it is generally considered a very safe technique, it is important to make sure your practitioner is skilled and taking proper precautions. Licensed Acupuncturists have extensive training in cupping, so call today and experience the benefits yourself! There aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. The side effects you may experience typically occur during your treatment or immediately after, such as circular marks or discoloration where the cups have been that usually go away within 2-7 days of the session.

Please call us at 954-594-0843 to find out if the cupping is the right therapy for you!

  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]  

How Acupuncture can Help with Fertility

Research indicates that Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can be successfully used to help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce stress, and support FERTILITY whether trying to get pregnant naturally or using IVF, IUI, or any other treatments.

The benefits of acupuncture for fertility (female AND male) can have numerous positive effects, including:

  • Higher rates of pregnancy and live births
  • Regulation of erratic menstrual cycles
  • Hormone regulation that helps produce higher numbers of follicles during IVF stimulation
  • Increased blood flow to the reproductive organs and increased thickness of the uterine lining
  • Improved sperm quality and quantity
  • Relief from side effects of fertility medications
  • Reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression, and deep relaxation
  • Strengthened the immune system

How can It Help?

Acupuncture has been recommended to help relieve conditions that affect fertility, such as:

  • Diminished Ovarian Reserve
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Anovulation
  • Advanced Maternal Age
  • Endometriosis
  • Luteal Phase Defect/Low Progesterone Levels
  • Recurrent Miscarriages
  • Poor Egg Quality
  • Thin Uterine/Endometrial Lining
  • Unexplained Fertility
  • High or Elevated FSH

Relieves Stress

One of the factors that could be preventing pregnancy is stress. Studies have shown that women going through IVF under stress decreases the pregnancy rate. Acupuncture is deeply relaxing to both the mind and body, helping to reduce the internal stress and anxiety that often accompanies your fertility journey.

Helps With IVF

Some studies have shown that acupuncture before an IVF can have a positive effect on the success rates of pregnancy. The relation may come from the relaxation that acupuncture promotes.

Our Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture treatments are not only used as a complementary treatment for infertility but are also used to treat a variety of ailments and as preventative medical care. Speak with us today to learn how we can help you achieve optimal health!

The Future of Acupuncture is Here!

Acupuncture provides many benefits for people suffering from all types of conditions, discomfort, and pain. Everyone should have the opportunity to find the perfect form of therapy to obtain relief. However, the idea of needles can often stop someone from considering acupuncture as a therapy. Laser therapy has grown in all medical fields, including acupuncture treatments. As a result, “Laserpuncture” was created and is continuously becoming more popular. Laserpuncture has evolved over time, allowing more people to experience the benefits of acupuncture. If you do not like needles or maybe even suffer from trypanophobia, Compassion Acupuncture has the perfect remedy for you; The LaserPen.


RJ-LASER is an innovative laser company that originated in Germany and has impacted the wellness world since 1982. RJ-LASER was the first company to produce a compact yet powerful pen-shaped device for medical use. About 10,000 physicians across the globe use their products. As their technology evolves, more physicians recognize the high-tech options they offer.

LaserPen by RJ-LASER

The LaserPen is a high-tech device bringing convenience and comfort to many people worldwide. The LaserPen can work on small and large points through pulse-controlled laser acupuncture stimulation. This RJ-LASER Therapy System allows our patients to experience Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), which initiates a series of physiological reactions at the cellular level improving tissue repair and reducing pain and inflammation wherever the laser beam is applied.

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) “Laserpuncture”

Laser Therapy Acupuncture uses the principle of traditional acupuncture by stimulating a laser beam instead of a penetrating needle. The laser beam can produce low-heat light and is an electromagnetic wave, stimulating the acupuncture point of the human body without using needles. LLLT has been used for many years on sports injuries, arthritic joints, neuropathic pain syndromes, back and neck pain.

Just like acupuncture treatments with needles, Laserpuncture provides the same benefits! Benefits of Laserpuncture include…

  • Boost blood circulation & enhance performance
  • Increase muscle relationation
  • Reduces nerve pain, inflammation
  • Relieves muscle injury and joint pains
  • Accelerates wound healing and tissue rejuvenation

Over 200 randomized clinical trials have been published on LLLT, half of which are on pain, such as:

  • Neck & Back Pain
  • Shoulder, Elbow, & Hand Pain
  • Hip & Knee Pain
  • Ankle & Foot Pain
  • Muscle Pain & Tightness
  • Arthritis
  • Issues with Function & Flexibility
  • Pre & Post Operative Conditions
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scar Tissue
  • Inflammation
  • Numbness & Tingling

Advantages of Laser Acupuncture Treatments

Laserpuncture sessions, such as treatments with the LaserPen System, include traditional acupuncture’s excellent benefits. In fact, laserpunture has more beneficial components to offer! Advantages of Low-Level Laser Therapy include…

  • Short therapy duration (10-30 seconds/per point)
  • Points that are difficult or painful to treat with needles (mouth/mucosa, wounds, joints, oral) can be included.
  • Painless and non-invasive therapy (particularly suited to treating sensitive patients, patients with needle aversion, children, etc.).
  • Can be used in cases for which classical acupuncture does not recommend the use of needles (asthenia)
  • Aseptic- no risk of infections & no side effects
  • Can be used to complement traditional acupuncture treatment

Laserpuncture VS. Needle Acupuncture

Comparing different methods that give the same result will always raise the question of which is better. Both methods influence live tissue and the energetic system of meridians – the needle by the stimulus, which triggers a reaction in the body, and the Laser by light energy and photons. Both acupuncture methods trigger responses within the body’s nervous system. Although both ways reach the same parts of the body’s system, they have a slightly different effects on body functions because of their remarkable influence on live tissue (harmonizes, neutralizes, tonifies, and reduces). Needle acupuncture and Laserpuncture can also complement each other. Switching between the two methods can be good for the body. They are both able to be a helpful combination depending on the situation. Each technique can be used by itself but will never replace the different processes completely. A laserpuncture session might be a little shorter in duration than a traditional acupuncture session due to a simplified method of operation. At the end of the day, both methods are safe and will help reach your maximum comfort in the long run.

At Compassion Acupuncture, we believe that everyone deserves to find pain relief. Acupuncture has changed many people’s lives, and everyone deserves to experience the outcomes acupuncture therapy provides. Witnessing the wonders of acupuncture treatments, Compassion Acupuncture wants to offer treatments for all situations. We are proud to constantly evolve and incorporate innovative techniques and tools in our practice. RJ-LASER’s LaserPen System is now an offering in our practice. For more information on the LaserPen System or to make an appointment, call us at (954) 594-0843 or visit our website.

What Is Medical Micro-needling – Collagen Induction Therapy?

Medical Micro-needling (Collagen Induction Therapy) with SkinPen Precision device is a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment to rejuvenate the skin. Our SkinPen creates tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin, which triggers the body to create new collagen and elastin. Results can include improved texture and firmness, as well as a reduction in scars, pore size, and stretch marks.

At Compassion Acupuncture we offer various Fusion Meso Therapy serums that contain only pure active ingredients that offer a combination of peptides and growth factors, as well as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). PRP contains a high concentration of stem cells, platelets, and growth factors to help stimulate collagen and elastin production for youthful-looking skin.

Benefits of SkinPen Medical Micro-needling include:

  • Improvement of fine lines and deeper wrinkles
  • Reduction of acne scars
  • Softening stretch marks
  • Evens skin tone
  • Lightens hyperpigmentation and sunspots
  • Reduces appearance of pores
  • Firms and smooths skin texture
  • Heals scars
  • Reduces broken capillaries and spider veins
  • Brings back the glow for fresher, younger-looking skin
  • Stimulates production of collagen and elastin


  • Before Treatment

Your provider will gently cleanse your skin. Topical anesthesia may be administered to assure maximum comfort during the treatment.

  • During Treatment

Skin Pen creates millions of controlled microchannels in the skin. This jump starts the production of collagen and elastin and encourages the release of growth factors that recruit and increase reparative cells. The result is a cascade of healing processes that can continue for months following your treatment.

The SkinPen treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes. Depending on whether an anesthetic is used prior to treatment, your entire treatment session may last up to one hour- still plenty of time to schedule your treatment before work or during your lunch hour. Be sure to speak with your provider before you come to get an accurate estimate, so you know how to plan your visit.

  • After Treatment

Your skin may initially appear slightly pink to red, similar to a mild sunburn. This is normal and should subside within 24 to 72 hours.

Some people see rejuvenated skin after just one treatment, and results may continue to improve for three to six months following your last treatment.

SkinPen Medical Micro-needling or Collagen Induction Therapy harnesses your skin’s natural powers of regeneration. Yes, you read that right! Micro-needling is one of the best options when it comes to skin rejuvenation! It’s safe and chemical-free! We all have different skin types, so if you’re not sure what your skin needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation!

SkinPen Flier

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