Even though massage cupping has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine, it is experiencing a resurgence of popularity in today’s society of health-conscious people. Massage cupping involves the use of negative pressure and suction to restore the flow of blood to stagnant muscles and skin, lift connective tissue, loosen adhesions, and eliminate toxins and excess fluids from the body. This therapy amplifies the healing effects of massage and other bodywork techniques.
Cupping is done by depressurizing bamboo or glass cups of varying sizes. The practitioner lights up a cotton ball that’s soaked in alcohol and briefly puts the flaming ball inside the cup; then the cup is immediately placed on the body of the patient. The flame eats up all the air inside the cup creating a vacuum which causes the cup to firmly attach to the patient’s skin. The skin is drawn into the cup by the negative pressure caused by the vacuum. This produces a feeling of light pressure on the skin and has a very similar effect as traditional massage which is to sedate the nervous system of the patient. The powerful vacuum effect mimics a deep tissue massage’s rolling action. The movement may be stimulating for areas of rigid tissue and stubborn knots and may be circular, long, and draining. A stronger cupping treatment may cause the skin to turn very red which can indicate that the flow of blood has been drawn to the surface. This enhanced local circulation means more nourishment is supplied to the skin and muscles and also signifies that toxins are carried away through the body’s circulatory system. Immediately following treatment, essential oils and analgesics can be applied to help promote the effect of the treatment deep within the tissue.
Massage cupping has a unique and pleasant effect on the body and long after the treatment has ended most patients still report a tingling and deeply pleasant and warming sensation. It is appropriate for all conditions that may require massage therapy (fatigue, anxiety, high blood pressure, neuralgia, headaches, and muscle tension) and is highly recommended for relief of spasm of the middle to lower back, muscle tightness, chronic pain, and tightness of the iliotibial (IT) band. Practitioners say that it especially useful for patients who are unable to tolerate the discomfort occasionally related to deep tissue massage, and because of that, allow them to reap the same benefits.
For thousands of years, massage cupping has been used by Asian, Middle Eastern, and European cultures as an effective form of treatment and is yet another simple and natural technique that offers various health benefits. Whether used in combination with other therapies or as a standalone treatment, it definitely produces noticeable benefits for millions of ailing people around the world.
Ling’s Acupuncture, Inc.
120 Gatlin Ave
Orlando, FL 32806-6908