Cupping therapy has been around for thousands of years. It is often used in conjunction with massage, to loosen soft tissue, and release tension through tight achy muscles. Vacuum cupping, which is the form most commonly used today, involves a vacuum pump, suctioning the cup onto the skin as shown in the picture above. There are many benefits using cupping therapy as a part of treatment such as:
• Increases blood flow and circulation to the muscles, which allows stagnant blood to be moved around and filtered.
• Eases pain and releases irritable areas on the body
• Relaxes the muscle and reduces tension through the body
• Draws out and releases toxins in the body
Cupping is well known for leaving red/ dark ‘bruises’ which may worry people. Cupping is not a painful therapy, and in fact, the marks are not bruises at all! A bruise is blood from the breakage of capillaries, which stays around the damaged tissues forming a red or purple bruise. Cupping marks however, are a result of stagnation and unwanted toxins drawn to the surface of the skin. The marks are not permanent either, so don’t panic! They usually take a few days to fade away, however the darker the mark the longer it will take. Cupping can be used for all types of aches and pains, leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Consult your therapist today to discuss whether cupping is suitable for your needs!
Source: Pritchard, S. (2015). Tui na : A Manual of Chinese Massage Therapy. London : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015.