Cupping (at selected stores)
Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice of applying cups to your skin and then creating a vacuum by removing the air from them. This suction causes your skin and outer muscle layers to draw up into the cup until it forms a small dome. Once the cups are suctioned to your skin, they are usually left in place for about ten minutes, while you relax sitting or lying down.
Cupping is regarded as a very effective type of deep-tissue therapy for it can affect muscle tissue as deep as 10cm beneath your skin.
This traditional therapy complements acupressure therapy by the use of negative upward pressure on your skin and muscles – as opposed to the positive downward pressure of acupressure.
Chinese cupping offers many benefits to your body:
- loosens stiff muscles
- calms your nervous system
- dispels stagnation in your blood and lymphatic circulation system
- releases toxins from your body
Gliding cupping is a technique that involves movement of the cups while they are under vacuum. This cupping technique helps to raise areas of your skin and muscles around the cup. Moving the cups along the skin’s surface – similar to the edge of a spoon scrapping your skin – can loosen and release blockages and stagnation. Oil is applied to your skin to reduce friction and maintain the vacuum seal.
Cupping can leave temporary round red marks in the cupping area, especially if a static cupping method has been used. The degree of discolouration in these marks can indicate the level of stagnation in the affected area.
For example, your therapist will assess the colour and pattern of the marks. The colour of the affected area can range from bright red to dark purple depending on the level of stagnation. The time it takes for the redness to clear up is also noted. The discolouration may remain for a few hours to a couple weeks. If your muscles are strong and healthy with no blockages, there may only be a light pinkish coloured mark that disappears in a just a few minutes.
Cupping is recommended for a range of health conditions:
- sports injuries
- back and neck pain
- stiff muscles
- stress and anxiety
- headaches and migraines
- menstrual disorders
- gastro-intestinal disorders
- respiratory conditions
If you would like to try cupping, drop in to Massage Philosophy for a free consultation and advice on the ways cupping can benefit and improve your health.