Cupping is a massage modality that finds its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. The practice uses glass or plastic cups to create a vacuum seal on areas of the body. The suction created by this seal brings blood to the surface of the skin and is thought to help expel negative energies from the body. Considered one of the best deep tissue therapies available, cupping is effective in loosening fascial restrictions, scars, adhesions and stubborn knots. This treatment is indicated for many common complaints such as pain, stiffness, chronic inflammation and respiratory conditions. Note that skin discoloration may occur as a result of cupping due to bringing stagnant blood to the surface to replace it with fresh oxygenated blood to nourish underlying areas. This treatment is combined with massage in our practice depending on your body’s size, condition and tolerance.
Although cupping is not unbearable torture, the recipient commonly walks away with circular bruise like marks on the areas where the cups were applied. These marks are not bruises and will generally fade within 3 – 7 days.
Improved Energy Flow
In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping is used to improve the energy flow throughout the body. The bruises caused by the procedure are thought to be the negative energy elements coming to the surface and exiting the body. The cups can be placed over the traditional energy collection points, which are also stimulated during acupuncture and shiatsu massage. A healthy energy flow is thought to improve both the physical and mental well-being of the client.
“Massage Magazine” reports that clients who received cupping sessions found that it relieved chronic pain and helped improve range of motion to injured areas. The clients who experienced this pain relief reported that the effects lasted longer than the pain relief associated with other massage modalities.
Fribromyalgia-symptoms.org reports that cupping is an effective way to reduce the muscle stiffness associated with the disorder. Cupping loosens the muscles and brings an influx of blood to the area and softens the underlying muscle tissues, leading to increased flexibility and a better sense of mobility.
Like other massage modalities, cupping can be incredibly relaxing. The work is usually performed in soothing setting and the therapists touch is very light. The therapist might move the cups around the body, mirroring the strokes that you would receive during a standard relaxation massage. While the goal of the session is to target different areas of the body, a cupping treatment can improve your general sense of relaxation.