Cupping Therapy: What you need to know
Cupping therapy is an ancient healing modality that has been used in Ancient Egypt and in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. It is a deeply relaxing and fun treatment that promotes blood circulation, lymphatic flow and decreases pain.
I offer classic fire cupping in two distinct styles – sliding and flash. Cupping is becoming really popular as Olympian Michael Phelps, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a host of celebrities rave about its benefits.
Fire is used to burn out the oxygen from sterile glass cups. The cups are quickly placed over selected parts of the body (most commonly the shoulders, back or legs), creating suction for a negative pressure massage.
What does cupping actually do?
The cup pulls up the soft tissue to allow for more blood and fluids in the area. More blood in the area can help to reduce inflammation and promote better blood flow.
In turn, the strong suction of the cup can help to release tender points of the underlying tissue allowing for the over-firing nerves and tense muscles to finally relax.
All muscles are covered by this net-like structure called fascia. Cupping therapy can help to gently stretch the fascia leaving the area feeling more loose, open and lighter.
Cupping therapy can promote lymphatic drainage by stimulating the natural flow of the lymphatic system.
In the short term, cupping therapy can help with pain management. Much like when you stub your finger or toe then rub it or squeeze it – pressure sensation over rides the pain receptors. Cupping therapy inundates the body with pressure and helps alleviate pain.
Red Marks of Cupping Therapy
Many people think that the red marks they see after a cupping session are bruises. In fact, this is not the case. Bruises occur when there is trauma to the tissue. They are painful to the touch and take several weeks to heal.
Cupping marks are an effect from the negative pressure of the cups. They are not painful to the touch. The redness immediately post treatment is actually a histamine reaction which is a part of the natural healing response of the body. When muscle tissues are injured (even microscopically), cupping therapy will pull blood through these damaged capillaries up to the surface. It will take a few days to reabsorb these blood cells back into the body and the resulting in cupping marks may last up to 3-5 days. See more cupping mark images here.
Ideal for muscle pains, aches and tightness, cupping therapy releases the muscles like nothing else. Once you try it, you’ll be sure to keep coming back for more!