What is cupping?
Cupping therapy is a technique that uses suction cups to create negative pressure rather than tissue compression (used in traditional massage). The silicon cups are applied to the affected area and uses suction to create the negative pressure which then draws the tissue up inside the cup. They are either left in place for 10-20 minutes, or can be slowly moved around the area being treated. The action of this technique is used to release rigid soft tissue, break up lactic acid in the muscles, drain excess fluids and toxins, loose adhesion, lift connective tissue, and bring increased blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles. Cupping therapy is used for chronic deep muscle pains, injuries of all types, bad posture, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, asthma and pneumonia, treatment of stretch marks and scar tissue, and high blood pressure.
One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. Cupping was developed thousands of years ago and though the techniques have modernised – the original philosophy remains the same. It is recommended not to at eat for one hour before your treatment.
What does cupping feel like?
Contrary to the commonly-held impression, the suction of the cups does not hurt. In fact, most people find the sensation very relaxing and soothing, a sort of a release. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day.
The Benefits of Cupping
- Relaxation: suction cups provide a negative pressure on the skin, muscles, and fascia. This is in contrast to the positive pressure of the deep tissue massage, and can be a very relaxing and soothing experience.
- Stimulates the local nervous system, causing an increase of endorphins and a decrease of pain
- Loosens and releases adhesions (scar tissue)
- Reduces inflammation
- Enhances circulation
- Moves and drains excess fluids
- Stretches and releases all types of muscles and soft tissues
- Provides deep tissue work without discomfort
- Strengthens the immune system by promoting the flow of lymphatic fluid
- Promoting blood circulation speeds up muscle recovery. The negative pressure from the suction allows new blood to flow into that area of tissue with several benefits –
- Provides a feeling of relief from physical and emotional tensions
- Warms the skin, and softens tissues to regain elasticity
- Begins the healing and regeneration process – the exchange of blood allows the removal of toxins and dead cells and replaces it with fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich fluid.
What is the discoloration left on the skin from cupping therapy?
The most common and unfortunate misconception concerning cupping therapy is the discolouration left on the skin. The discolouration is created by the negative pressure bringing toxins and lactic acid to the surface of the tissue. These discolorations are NOT bruises and are rarely painful.
It is likely that there may be a resulting reddening of the skin directly under the cup, the colour of which depends on the health of the underlying tissue. Healthy tissues do not leave a dark circle. Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red, purple or black, especially if there is an injury or energetic blockage under the area that was cupped. From there these marks rapidly fade away. Usually after 24 hours, there is a very noticeable change and they are typically resolved in a few days. Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.
Cupping therapy treatments offered
- Frozen Shoulder Treatment
- Sciatica Treatment
- Lower Back and Hip Pain
- Deep Muscle Pain Relief
- Facial Rejuvenation – coming soon!
- Stretch Marks and Scar Tissue
- Lymphatic Drainage
- Facial Cupping for Headaches & Sinus Congestion
- Facial Cupping for TMJ Dysfunction
This lovely client of mine has been suffering from Frozen Shoulder for a long time and now has increased range of motion, much more mobility and much less pain. The photos below were taken Before and After ONE cupping treatment.