Cupping has been used for centuries all over the world. It applies suction to the skin and the tissue beneath to draw out pathogenic factors, remove stagnation and improve both blood and lymph flow. Cupping massage, when a cup slides over a larger ares of the body, will also invigorate muscle and connective tissues. It can often reach far deeper than the massaging hands are capable.
Various cups can be used such as bamboo, ceramic, glass, silicone and plastic. In China, the most common are glass and bamboo cups. In Europe, the most common are glass, silicone and plastic cups.
When glass cups are used, the vacuum is created inside the cup by using flaming cotton to burn the oxygen inside. The cup is then immediately put onto the skin where it gets firmly attached thanks to the suction created by the vacuum effect. This method is called fire cupping and creates a pleasant warm feeling to the body.
Plastic cups rely on a mechanical hand-held pump to create the vacuum. Silicone cups use a push-top to create suction. This allows a practitioner to control the exact amount of suction desired for the purpose. They are certainly less pleasurable in the experience, but are simpler to use.
Typically the large soft tissue areas are cupped such as the back, neck and shoulders, or arms and legs. Sliding cupping or cupping massage is more appropriate for smaller or more sensitive areas such as tummy area or face. Indeed, light cupping massage can be used for beauty treatments on face and neck, simply to invigorate the skin and remove the black shadows under the eyes.
Depending on the goal and strength of the cupping treatment, the underlying tissue is drawn up into the cup
and may make the local area purpled so that it may look bruised. These “bruising” marks are not dangerous and disappear in 3-10 days, depending on how efficient the lymphatic system is of a person. They may be tender during the first 1-2 days after cupping. Warm/hot baths with Epsom salts will help the skin to return to normal faster.
Benefits of cupping
By creating a vacuum within a cup, the underlying tissue is drawn into the cup, up to 2-4 inches within the body, depending on the need. The goal of cupping can be removal of muscle tension and blockages in the local area, deep tissue massage, skin rejuvenation, increased lymph flow, activation of whole body circulation, boosting of immune system or removal of of “old” blood (which contains too many dead sells, is acidic or intoxicated).
There are various approaches to cupping:
- Light cupping – weak or very weak suction is used in the cup. This is suitable for children, elderly or very weak people (in re-convalescence).
- Medium or strong cupping – suction is from medium to strong, depending on the need.
- Sliding cupping or cupping massage – a method that requires rubbing oil to the skin and moving the cup on the treated area using light to medium suction. This is a great technique to relax tight muscles and “unglue” layers within connective tissues. It is also the most useful approach to cellulite or the one which encourages fat burning.
- Needle cupping – acupuncture and cupping are done together by applying the cup over the needle.
- Wet cupping – is the oldest and often the most effective method (see below). The previous four approaches are considered as dry cupping.
Wet cupping is a type of controlled bloodletting by making small pinpricks in the skin that feel like mosquito bites. The area is then cupped so that toxins are drawn out of the body via toxic or acidic blood, through the tiny skin pricks. The body will stop the controlled bleeding when toxins in the local area have been largely removed.
When performed well, wet cupping removes inflammation and swelling, as well as stagnant blood from the body. It is the most effective for some people with extensive toxins in their body. Those on blood-thinning medication, with bleeding disorders, the ones with a pacemaker, and those who are already extremely weak such as post-surgery individuals or post-delivery women are all cautioned not to receive cupping.
Cupping can help with a variety of muscle-skeletal and other conditions. This includes:
- Upper / low back pain
- Neck pain
- Fatigued/weak legs
- Arthritis and Gout
- Stress and Fatigue
- Digestive disorders
- Muscle tone
- Sport injuries
- Weak immunity
- Sore scar tissues
- Cold or flu
- Cough with mucus
- Menstrual pain or other chronic pain
and much more.
The appointment will last 30min for kids and 45 min for adults. Please allow additional 10-15min for the initial appointment.