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Cupping therapy on horses

Cupping on the animal?

A glass bell is used in cupping therapy, which serves as an applicator for the skin. A negative pressure is created in the glass, either by heating the air in the glass beforehand or by using a manual air pump or regulator. This vacuum sucks in the skin, detaches it from the remaining tissue and also sucks in lower layers such as fascia, fat cells or the like. Due to this negative pressure in the tissue, the metabolism in the cells is greatly accelerated, the blood circulation shoots up immediately. The therapy is therefore particularly suitable for tissue that is clearly undersupplied, such as tense and sticky fascia, overly acidic muscles or scar tissue in which the metabolism has come to a standstill.

What is the difference to a conventional massage?

During a massage, tense muscle fibers are loosened using a variety of gripping techniques. All techniques have in common that pressure is applied to the tissue from the outside. Surely everyone has already experienced manual therapy in physiotherapy and knows that this can be uncomfortable, especially with severe tension. Of course, you always have to be careful with the horses and never hurt the patient, because the animals have no idea that it hurts a little now, but will be much better tomorrow.

In the case of cupping therapy, on the other hand, traction stimuli primarily act on the tissue. The tissue is sucked in under the attached vitreous body by means of negative pressure and is thus greatly expanded locally. This loosens tense muscle fibers much faster than with conventional massage techniques. Glued fasciae are also easily lifted and easily separated from each other.

The after-effects of cupping, such as increased lymph flow, blood circulation and metabolism, are similar to those of manual massage. However, due to the strong vacuum created, these processes happen much faster and to a greater extent.

Risk and side effects of cupping therapy

The treated tissue is very agitated and stimulated by the cupping. Long-term local use can also lead to bleeding in the tissue, which is fundamentally desirable with cupping, as it maximizes the effects in the area.

  • It is therefore possible that the horses are somewhat sensitive to touch in the cupped areas for the next day or two. Therefore, you should not stress the animals any further and simply do without cleaning or equipment in these areas.

  • Some horses are clearly exhausted after the treatment. Especially animals with strong tension and fascial adhesions often rest more than usual on the day of treatment and the day after.

  • In horses with very sensitive skin, often foxes or gray horses, it is also rare for small pustules to form under the skin, which are caused by the excessive processes in the tissue. These usually subside after a few hours or a day when the skin has calmed down.




Cupping therapy is used to help alleviate and heal a variety of diseases or conditions:


  • muscle tension

  • fascial restrictions

  • hematoma and edema

  • respiratory diseases

  • diseases of the organs

  • kissing spines

  • arthrosis

  • Immobile scar tissue

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