Cupping is an ancient healing method, and has been practiced by many cultures all over the world for thousands of years. Some of the first cups were made of animal horns, while today glass, rubber or plastic cups are the most common. I personally find glass cups the most beneficial. Fire is quickly inserted and removed from a glass cup which is then placed on the skin, the cooling of the cup creates a vacuum which gently pulls the skin and all the affected tissue layers underneath into the cup.
Unlike more common massage techniques - which involve pushing on the body - fire cupping pulls out and extracts. As the suction pulls on the tissue, all of the tight, injured and stuck tissue layers begin to separate, knotted muscles soften, old toxicity is removed, improved circulation allows for fresh blood to enter the affected area, and Qi starts to flow more freely throughout the body. Whether it’s a more recent or old injury, there will be clearance and healing, often with much less time than more common massage methods. Combined with gentle massage, this modality of treating pain is extremely effective. By freeing up areas of what is called 'stagnation' in Chinese Medicine, more wellness will be experienced holistically.
Cupping is most commonly used on the back and hips to relieve upper and lower back pain, shoulder and neck pain, as well as sciatic nerve pain. The back also governs five main meridians that connect with several organs. These meridians benefit highly from the clearing and detoxification that cupping provides. The back is also the most common area for pain and tension that can benefit greatly from cupping.
Cupping can leave marks on the skin that vary in pattern and color (from light red to dark purple), lasting from 3 days to a week; sometimes longer if the person is sick, sedentary or has had severe trauma to the area.The marks are often mistakenly referred to as “bruising” because of how it looks; however, it is the dead static blood, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors and toxins that are being released from the deeper tissue layers to the surface that leave the marks. Unlike a bruise, the marks are not from trauma to the muscle that results in bleeding under the skin and are rarely sensitive to touch afterwards unless there are large amounts of toxins being released. By clearing this stagnation in the tissue it allows fresh oxygenated blood to nourish and heal the underlying areas. As the stagnation clears over a series of treatments the marks will lighten, and eventually cupping will leave very faint or no marks.
You will experience a gentle pulling sensation. Cupping will give the results of a deep tissue massage with less discomfort during and the following day after. Clients have often reported that the release from the cupping stays with them longer and that the results are cumulative with consistent sessions.
Cupping can be beneficial for anyone with joint or muscle pain and tension, headaches, frequent colds and flu’s. It is ideal for those who are not getting the relief they need from regular massage therapy treatments. It is a great treatment by itself or add it to your regular massage.