Cupping Therapy NYC

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Muscular Trigger Points (MtrP)- A Patient’s Guide

All eyes were on the US Olympic Swim Team during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but not just because of their awesome performance in the pool. It was impossible not to notice the round reddish-purple markings on the backs, arms and shoulders of several team members as they awaited the start signal, or splashed onto the pool deck. The marks, it turns out, are from cupping, an ancient Chinese therapy used for a plethora of conditions.

cupping therapy nyc

Although clinical studies are scarce, those that have been published indicate that cupping may provide both long- and short-term benefits for tissue recovery and pain reduction. Many athletes opt for cupping as a noninvasive and drug-free alternative therapy for managing muscle pain, reducing fatigue and speeding recovery.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is used to treat a broad range of conditions, including:
  • Muscle and Joint Pain
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Headaches
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Skin conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Varicose veins
  • Cellulite

Cupping Treatment

Cupping therapy works by expanding the capillaries and promoting blood flow into and out of the affected tissues. During a cupping session, the patient lies face-down on a cupping massage table, as cups are strategically placed on the back, arms and/or shoulders, depending on the targeted tissues.

cupping therapy

After placement, the cups are heated until they create a suction vacuum effect. Cupping targets skin and deep tissues to relieve pain, break up scar tissue and relax myofascial and connective tissues. Unlike massage, which applies pressure to targeted areas, cupping draws pressure away from affected tissues.

Dry vs Wet Cupping

During dry cupping, also known as fire cupping, a trained clinician arranges cups on the patient’s back and then carefully applies heat. The heated cups create a vacuum seal, and are left in place for five to 15 minutes as they cool. The vacuum pulls the skin into the heated cups, stretching underlying tissue and increasing blood flow to facilitate healing.

Wet cupping, a more invasive treatment, is used in certain parts of the Middle East. During the procedure, a tiny incision is made in the patient’s skin before the cup is applied. Instead of heating the cups, the clinician uses a pump to remove a small amount of the patient’s blood. The technique is said to improve energy and remove toxins.

Is Cupping Therapy Safe?

Dry cupping therapy is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified health professional. Some patients feel a pinching sensation during the cupping procedure, and it can leave skin discolorations that fade after several days. In extremely rare cases, skin infections have been reported, but infection is unlikely to develop when cupping therapy is performed under sanitary conditions and precautions are taken to prevent it.

Dry Cupping Therapy in NYC

Dry cupping is a safe and non-invasive treatment that most people find soothing and relaxing. However, cupping is not for everyone.

Cupping therapy is not advised If you:
  • Are pregnant
  • Have an infectious skin condition or sensitive skin
  • Have a bleeding disorder
  • Are prone to bruising
  • Have chronic systemic inflammation

Note that cupping therapy may leave discolored marks on the surface of your skin that can remain for up to two weeks.


To enjoy the benefits of safe and effective cupping treatment in NYC, contact NYDNRehab. Our trained practitioners will perform an individualized cupping session geared to your personal needs. At NYDNRehab, we continually embrace innovative therapies and new technologies to enhance your healthy active lifestyle.


Professional associations and memberships

Dr. Kalika is currently a certified member of:


American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine


Active member of ISMST

International Society of Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy


Active member of GCMAS

Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society


Active member of NASS

North American Spine Society


Active member of IADMS

International Association of Dance Medicine and Science


Active member of Virtual Rehabilitation Society


Active member of ASRA

American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine


American Academy

Association of Orthopedic Medicine


Active member of Interventional Orthobiologics Foundation


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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