Using reactive hyperemia to investigate the effect of cupping sizes of cupping therapy on skin blood flow responses

Xiangfeng He, Xueyan Zhang, Fuyuan Liao, Li He, Xin Xu, Yih-Kuen Jan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Various cupping sizes of cupping therapy have been used in managing musculoskeletal conditions; however, the effect of cupping sizes on skin blood flow (SBF) responses is largely unknown.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the effect of three cupping sizes of cupping therapy on SBF responses.

METHODS: Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) was used to measure SBF on the triceps in 12 healthy participants in this repeated measures study. Three cup sizes (35, 40 and 45 mm in diameter) were blinded to the participants and were tested at -300 mmHg for 5 minutes. Reactive hyperemic response to cupping therapy was expressed as a ratio of baseline SBF.

RESULTS: All three sizes of cupping cups resulted in a significant increase in peak SBF (p< 0.001). Peak SBF of the 45 mm cup (9.41 ± 1.32 times) was significantly higher than the 35 mm cup (5.62 ± 1.42 times, p< 0.05). Total SBF of the 45 mm cup ((24.33 ± 8.72) × 103 times) was significantly higher than the 35 mm cup ((8.05 ± 1.63) × 103 times, p< 0.05). Recovery time of the 45 mm cup (287.46 ± 39.54 seconds) was significantly longer than the 35 mm cup (180.12 ± 1.42 seconds, p< 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that all three cup sizes can significantly increase SBF. The 45 mm cup is more effective in increasing SBF compared to the 35 mm cup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Cupping size
  • skin blood flow
  • negative pressure
  • laser Doppler
  • dose response
  • cupping therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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