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Using multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy to assess the effect of cupping therapy on the spatial hemodynamic response of the biceps muscle: A preliminary study.

BACKGROUND: The local hemodynamic response after cupping therapy has been considered as a contributing factor for improving muscle tissue health; however, the effects of cupping pressure and duration on the spatial hemodynamic response have not been investigated.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the hemodynamic response inside and outside the cupping cup under various pressures and durations of cupping therapy.

METHODS: A 3-way factorial design with repeated measures was used to investigate the main and interaction effects of the location (areas inside and outside the cup), pressure (-225 and -300 mmHg) and duration (5 and 10 min) on the hemodynamic response of the biceps muscle. A functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to assess hemodynamic changes in 18 participants.

RESULTS: A significant three-way interaction of the location, pressure, and duration factors was observed in oxyhemoglobin (p= 0.023), deoxy-hemoglobin (p= 0.013), and blood volume (p= 0.013). A significant increase was observed in oxyhemoglobin, blood volume, and oxygenation compared to pre-cupping (p< 0.05) in the area outside the cup.

CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that an appropriate combination of cupping pressure and duration can effectively affect the spatial hemodynamic response of the biceps.

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