Cupping Massage

Massage cupping has been used in traditional Chinese medicine practices for several thousand years. Practitioners light an alcohol-soaked cotton ball with a match and insert the lit portion into a bulb-like glass "cup" in order to create a vacuum. The cup is then placed in a stationary position upon the body or moved using gliding strokes, depending on the client's needs. Massage cupping is ideal for performing deep-tissue massage and helps to drain toxins, loosen adhesions, facilitate blood flow, and stimulate the body.

Cupping Therapy is 5000 years old, and began in China. Over the last several thousand years it has been used to treat a variety of conditions including pain syndrome, asthma, the common cold, chronic cough, digestive disease and skin condition.

What does cupping do?

The goal of cupping is to activate the body’s self-healing powers when it is not able to do so, on its own. The suction from the cups creates extravagates which cause strong irritation to the area. This activates the bodies’ local and general healing powers, creating an anti-inflammatory effect which in turn supports recovery from any disease caused by inflammation.

Cupping stimulates the lymphatic system; increases blood flow to the muscles and skin and loosens adhesions in the myofacial tissue and muscle tissue. The increase in circulation to the tissue caused by cupping allows for a faster elimination of pain caused substances as a result pains reduces.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a therapy in which glass jars or cups are suctioned onto the skin’s surface through negative pressure. The suction and negative pressure drain excess fluids and toxins which stimulate the peripheral nervous system, bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin, loosens adhesions connective tissue and stubborn knots in tissue. Ancient Chinese medicine believes cupping opens up meridian pathways to allow Qi to flow thru. When Qi flows freely through the body one enjoys good physical, mental and emotional well-being.

There are different types of cupping.  Stagnant cupping is when the cup is placed over specific acupuncture points and left for a few seconds to a few minutes.  This stimulates the Qi at eh point and can help clear a blockage of energy in the meridian.  Sliding cupping or cupping massage is when oil or lotion is first applied to the areas being treated and the cup is moved around.  This form of cupping releases the connective tissue and muscles on the area being treated, increases overall circulation and releases toxins.

What are the marks left by cupping?

  • Cupping does commonly leave marks on the skin that vary in patterns and color (from light red to dark purple) and, usually last from 3 days to a week; sometimes longer if the parson is sick, sedentary or has had a severe trauma to the area.

  • The marks are often referred to a bruising because of how it looks however it is the dead bleed, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors and toxins that are being released from beep tissue layers to the surface that leaves the marks.

  • Unlike bruises, the marks 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 no marks.

  • Often marks will not appear until a few hours after treatment or will darken considerable a few hours after treatment.

What does cupping feel like?

With stagnant cupping you will experience a gentle pulling sensation. Sliding cupping feels very similar to massage with the pressure varying depending on the amount of suction and how the cup is being manipulated. With sliding cupping you can often get the results of a deep tissue massage with less discomfort. Clients have often reported that the release from sliding cupping stays with them longer and that eh results are cumulative with consistent sessions.