Cupping Therapy

Therapeutic Cupping

What is Cupping?

Cupping is one of the oldest forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in fact, the earliest form of cupping dates back to the 4th century. Cupping is essentially the reverse of a massage where instead of pushing down on the muscles and tissues, the cups create a suction to pull the muscles up into the cups, releasing the tight fascia underneath the layer of muscle.


What is Fascia?

Fascia is an iridescent, blue-white connective tissue located under the skin's deepest layer. Fascia surrounds and runs through muscle, and is continuous from the top of the cranium to the tips of toes. The water and collagen matrix of fascia tissue provides glide to our muscles as we move. When an injury, pain, tension, wrinkles or cellulite is present, it is an indication that fascia is in a dehydrated state. Fascia can become dehydrated and due to overuse, under-use and inflammation. Cells surrounding tight fascia have less ability to detoxify, thus resulting in a "thickness" of tissue.

Can Cupping Help Reduce Cellulite?

When cupping is performed, the cups are applied creating a suction. Cupping is a lifting technique and can be done both statically and dynamically (gliding). Suction is applied on the skin, the reverse pressure helps the cellulite to break up. Blood circulation is stimulated, and the fat and toxins that are released are moved to the lymph drainage network. Since cupping therapy also promotes a more efficient drainage of the lymph nodes, these toxins are quickly eliminated from the body. Cupping is also known to ease the fascia connecting the skin and muscle. In this way, fluid build-up is reduced and the skin develops a more cellulite-free healthy appearance.

What Are Cup Markings?

Depending on the amount of suction and the state of the underlying tissues, cupping can leave circular marks on the skin that range from a light yellow to pinkish red to dark purple. The darker the marks, the more stagnation of blood in that area. Stagnation leads to pain and dysfunction within tissues. Cupping creates more space between the tissue layers to get rid of dead cellular debris and excess fluids and toxins. It also breaks up scar tissue. The marks, then, are caused by this debris being pulled up and deposited under the skin, which is actually the most effective place for the lymphatic system to drain it away.

What are the Different Types of Cupping Techniques?

The three cupping techniques are longitudinal, cross fiber and circular. The longitudinal technique is the most common, and the cup is glided longitudinally across the muscle fibers. The cross fiber technique is used when it is believed that the tissue is scarred. The circular technique is used at the end of the session to ensure that all areas were covered.

What are the benefits of cupping?

  • Stimulates whole-body relaxation response

  • Stimulates oxygenation and detoxification of blood while promoting a feeling of lightness and tension relief

  • Detoxifies metabolic debris in muscle tissue, fascia, and skin

  • Increases range of motion, breaks up adhesion's, and promotes healing in scar tissue and chronic injury sites

  • Increases lymphatic drainage and promotes circulation

What can cupping treat?

  • Tight and stiff muscles

  • Back pain and sciatica

  • Piriformis syndrome and IT band pain

  • Rotator cuff injuries

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Migraines

  • Respiratory conditions, including asthma and bronchitis

  • Anxiety, depression, and stress

  • High blood pressure (by calming the nervous system)

  • Cellulite

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