Massage Cupping stems from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique and uses glass, plastic, or silicone cups to create suction on the skin. In TCM the cups are placed along Meridian lines and primarily work to balance chi (life-force energy).
Massage Cupping, on the other hand, focuses on the skeletomuscular system - the fascia, muscles, ligaments, and other tissues that support & mobilize the body. The vacuum effect created in the cups pulls blood to the surface, which helps to improve circulation and promote healing by releasing 'congestion' in the tissues.
Like other bodywork techniques, Massage Cupping helps stretch & release tight connective tissue, improves joint Range of Motion, and may reduce inflammation for a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Unlike other techniques which use compacting pressure, the suction lifts tissues apart and creates more fluid space between them.
Cupping is ideal for treating chronically tight connective tissue (fascia), scar tissue, and for rehabilitating Range of Motion after injury or surgery. It's also great for athletic recovery, treating tight ITT Bands, and plantar fasciitis. Additionally, it's helpful for breast health - to treat pain, scarring, and revive lymph flow long reduced by restrictive clothing.
Massage Cupping is effective as a stand alone treatment, or in combination with a regular massage session. When combined with massage, it increases the benefits by softening the tissues before deep tissue and neuromuscular work. It stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous system, which turns on your "rest and digest" mode for profound relaxation.
Does Massage Cupping Hurt?
No - like any other massage technique you want to experience a "hurt so good" type of feeling, where the pressure is noticeable yet comfortable. Your therapist will check in often about pressure, and adjust it based on your feedback.
What are the marks, and how long do they last?
You've probably seen the bruise-like healing marks or "cup kisses" left on the skin after a cupping session. Note that cupping does not always mark the skin - be sure to tell me if you do not want marks. The marks are not bruises - a bruise is caused by blunt-force trauma, whereas cupping healing marks are caused by suction pulling tissue layers apart. The marks are a result of drawing fluids (like blood, lymph) and residual molecules in the tissues to the area. Again, the marks should not hurt, and they fade in 1 to 10 days.
Curious? The sensation of freedom from Cupping is indescribable, and can only really be experienced first-hand. Try it out for yourself and schedule a Combined cupping & massage session today!