What is Cupping?
The process has been around since 1500 B.C and involves placing glass cups on the patient’s body to create suction, offering many physical benefits.
Physical benefits include increased blood flow, loosened muscles, relief of muscle pain and fatigue, reduced anxiety, and sedation of the nervous system. Some patients also find relief from migraines, feelings of extreme tension and even cellulite and fat mobilization.
Most recently is the process of cupping being spotlighted by its ability to release fascial restrictions in the tissue as well as enabling the lubrication process between interstitial tissue and muscles. This has the potential to allow muscles to recover their natural ranges of motion and increase their needed supply of nutrients.The significance of this can impact both muscle and function and strength.
Athletes and weight lifters have reported feeling less restricted in their tissues as well as stronger post cupping therapy.
Hows is Cupping Done?
There are a few methods you can use to perform cupping. These range from weak, medium, and strong cupping to techniques using fire, needles, and water.
In our clinic we use dry cups with air suction. Our cupping therapist uses either grazing techniques or static techniques depending on the area he is focusing on and the tissues involved. Much of the time, he uses both.
The main goal of this method is to create suction between the glass cup and the your skin. This suction pulls muscles, skin and fascia gently upward, into the cup – the opposite of traditional massage which involves pushing down on the muscles to relieve tension and pressure.
This form of treatment feels a lot less abrasive and has the potential to release some extremely deep adhesions.
This can be particularly affective for either deep tension or tension that has become particularly painful and sensitive.
Other Long-term effects include improved physical performance and increased energy.
Other Uses for Cupping
Gut Health and Skin Smoothing
Cupping therapy is also used to aid in weight loss by promoting a healthy gut. The suction from the cup on the abdomen both vascularizes the gut as well as mobilizing stubborn fat tissue.
Some patients experience a more efficient metabolism, which promotes weight loss. Others report relief from constipation, improved digestion, and a healthy appetite.
Aside from weight loss, cupping can also reduce the appearance of cellulite and improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Treat Asthma and Respiratory Issues
Muscle tension and pain aren’t the only internal issues that cupping therapy treats. Cupping is commonly used to help patients suffering from asthma or other breathing issues, including lung infections.
The method can help break up chest congestion and clear the lungs. Cupping is a viable treatment for both asthma sufferers and those suffering from a common cold.
Are there any side effects?
Similar to massage, cupping therapy is a healing, therapeutic practice. It’s meant to relax the patient. This state of relaxation sometimes results in feelings of exhaustion following treatment.
In most cases, fatigue is mild and very short-term. Most of our clients have reported very deep sleeps post cupping treatment. With adequate hydration this side effect did not last longer than a 16 hour period.
There is no reported recovery time however the cups may leave some marks on the skin that may persist anywhere from 3-10 days.
Please let our therapist know if you have any skin sensitivities, in which case a weaker suction will be used.
Stephen Wahl Is our Cupping Therapist at Align. When Booking for Cupping. Book under Massage Therapy and please put cupping in the notes section.