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Dry Cupping vs. Mobility Pods vs. Cups with Red Light Therapy: The Cupping Conundrum




In the realm of holistic therapies, the practice of cupping has gained popularity for its diverse forms and potential health benefits. Today, we're going to explore three distinct cupping modalities - Dry Cupping, Mobility Pods, and Cups with Red Light Therapy - each with its unique characteristics, applications, and potential effects on your well-being. At MOVE PHYSIO, we aim to help you understand these options and make informed decisions regarding your health.


Dry Cupping, also referred to as "cupping," is a therapeutic practice involving the use of suction cups placed on the skin to create a vacuum effect. This traditional healing technique is believed to enhance blood circulation, alleviate muscle tension, and stimulate the body's natural healing processes. After the cups are applied and removed, temporary circular marks may appear on the skin, which are usually harmless and fade over time.


In the other hand, Mobility Pods are versatile tools designed for dynamic movement and fascial release. These innovative devices are specifically crafted to help improve mobility, release tension in the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles), and enhance overall flexibility. Mobility Pods come in various shapes and sizes, making them adaptable for a wide range of self-myofascial release techniques and movement patterns. They are commonly used in fitness, physical therapy, and wellness practices to promote better mobility and alleviate muscle and fascial tightness.


Lastly, Cupping with Red Light Therapy is a therapeutic approach that combines the traditional technique of cupping with the application of red or infrared light. During this treatment, suction cups are strategically placed on the skin to create a vacuum effect, while red or infrared light is simultaneously directed at the treatment area. This combination is believed to promote myofascial release, increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and stimulate cellular repair, offering a holistic approach to healing and wellness.


Key Aspects of Cupping Therapy:

  • Pain Relief: All can be used to alleviate muscle pain and tension, making it a valuable tool for physical therapists in managing conditions such as chronic back pain, muscle strains, and sports injuries.

  • Improved Range of Motion: Cupping therapy can help release fascial restrictions and improve joint mobility. Physical therapists may use cupping to enhance a patient's range of motion, especially in cases of musculoskeletal conditions.

  • Enhanced Circulation and Healing: Cupping therapy increases blood flow to the treated area, which can expedite the healing process by delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues. This can be particularly beneficial in PT for recovery from injuries or surgeries.


Choosing the Right Cupping Modality for You:


Selecting the right cupping modality depends on your specific goals and preferences, let's see their differences:


Dry Cupping

Mobility Pods

Cupping with Red Light Therapy

Application Method:

Involves the placement of suction cups on the skin, creating a vacuum effect. These cups remain stationary during treatment for 5-10 mins, and the therapist carefully positions them at specific trigger points before gliding them.

Applied through dynamic movement, either by rolling or pressing them against the skin. They require manual manipulation and can be moved across the body's surface to target specific areas and muscle groups.

This therapy combines traditional cupping with the added application of red or infrared light. The cups are used to create suction, similar to dry cupping, while the red light is directed at the treated area. The cups may be moved to cover larger areas during treatment.

Treatment Focus:

Commonly used for pain relief, muscle relaxation, and promoting circulation. It is often employed for addressing pain and discomfort, as well as for general well-being.

Primarily focus on enhancing mobility, flexibility, and myofascial release. They are valuable tools for improving joint range of motion and releasing tension in specific muscle groups.

This combined therapy aims to provide benefits for both myofascial release and cellular healing. The cups create suction for fascial release, while the red light is believed to stimulate cellular repair, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue recovery.

Treatment Mechanism:

Relies on the creation of suction to lift and separate the skin and superficial muscle layers from deeper tissues. This creates a vacuum effect that is believed to promote blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and facilitate healing through increased circulation.

Uses dynamic movement and pressure to target specific muscle groups and fascial lines. They work by applying pressure and rolling across the skin to release tension and improve mobility through myofascial release techniques.

The cups create suction as in dry cupping, and the addition of red light is thought to stimulate cellular repair and reduce inflammation. This therapy aims to address both myofascial and cellular aspects of healing.

Best used for:

Pain relief and improved circulation.

Fascial release, improved flexibility, and active recovery.

Tissue healing, skin rejuvenation, cellular repair and pain relief.


These different treatment mechanisms demonstrate how each method offers unique approaches to addressing various aspects of mobility, pain relief, and tissue recovery. The choice between them depends on individual needs and therapeutic goals.


As always, it's crucial to consult with healthcare professionals or experienced practitioners who can tailor your cupping therapy to your individual needs.


Dry Cupping, Mobility Pods, and Cups with Red Light Therapy represent diverse approaches to cupping therapy, each with its own set of benefits. At MOVE PHYSIO, our team of experts is well-versed in these modalities and can guide you toward the most suitable cupping therapy for your specific well-being goals.


Whether you're seeking traditional relief, improved mobility, or the combined effects of light healing, we're here to help you on your path to enhanced health and vitality. Contact us today to explore these cupping modalities and their potential benefits. Your well-being is our primary concern, and we're dedicated to assisting you in achieving it.



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