Cupping Massage brings the ancient art of cupping to the modern-day practice. By using a negative pressure (suction), rather than tissue compression (like in massage therapy), this modality allows for a unique approach to the fascia and body fluids. Cupping has an ability to affect deeper tissue, remove fascial restrictions, removing inflammation, toxicity, digestive problems and increase range of motion. Cupping, like massage, is another form of healing. The suctioning of the cups rapidly aids in soft tissue release, loosens, and lifts connective tissue, breaking up and draining stagnation wile increasing lymph and blood flow to muscles and skin. The suction engages the parasympathetic system, or the “rest and digest” system which means it also aids in relaxing the patient receiving the treatment. It has also been used for centuries, predating 3,500 years.
What is Cupping used for?
Cupping goes far beyond simple fascial techniques, concepts such as angiogenesis, metabolism and immune response will be explored. Cupping therapy can also be used on specific pressure points on the body to remove obstructions in the body’s natural healing energies. In this way, cupping therapy can be used to treat skin, blood, respiratory, back pain, nerve conditions and many more. Application will cover more than just the back; scars, fascia, joints, trigger points, muscle imbalances and even pleura techniques will be applied.
Is Cupping painful?
Cupping is not generally painful, and most patients have commented that it felt like a slight pinching or burning sensation. The suctioning effect is lifting/pulling the skin in an upward motion, gently separating the fascia apart. If you have really tight fascia, you may be hypersensitive.
Why are there marks after cupping?
The marks, or discolorations are commonly misinterpreted as damage or “bruising” that you see on a patient, this is a normal effect. Those who have received a cupping treatment, the marks that appear are the result of the suction from the cups manually bringing up the stagnant blood, that is trapped deep within, into the area that’s being cupped. These are normal and are rarely painful. Sometimes the marks can stay up to one week after treatment (in some cases they disappear sooner, others may take longer). There have been complaints of a sudden itchy feeling. This is normal as blood is being brought to the skin.
The definition of bruising or contusion is an external (like a forceful blow) or internal (like a twisted ankle) trauma. This injury causes tiny blood vessels called capillaries to burst, blood gets trapped below the skin’s surface leaving discoloration. This is not what is happening with cupping massage.
What to expect at your first cupping treatment.
Similar to massage therapy, we start your cupping treatment with a lighter suction and with each future treatment, progressively adding more suction.
There are 2 types of applications of cupping:
The chart below indicates the different types of marks that are left
White/Grey: chi deficiency Purple/blackish: blood stagnation Yellow is in the cup: Excess phlegm
Mauve: cold Blisters: excess Damp/toxins Speckling, purpura patches: toxins and disease
Picture of various stages of bruise healing