Is Cupping for You?

Cupping is one of many therapies I incorporate into the treatment of my clients. It allows me to quickly access deep tissue without causing more discomfort to the client and is also like another set of hands so I can do more in a single session. Feel free to inquire about how cupping might enhance your next massage therapy session.


What Is Cupping?

Cupping therapy may seem like the latest trend, but it has actually been used for millennia in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation, to promote relaxation and improve overall well-being.

It is described as the antigravity massage because instead of pressing into the tissues, special suction cups are used to creates space, lifting the tissues and allowing for enhanced lymph and blood circulation and removal of toxic buildup. Tissues respond more quickly to cupping, helping to release adhesions and trigger points, decreasing tension and promoting a deeply relaxing experience.

Variability Between Therapists

Now that it is becoming well known in the West, many therapists are eager to capitalize on the growing demand despite their lack of proper training. This is resulting in high variability in the application of cupping therapy treatment which puts the burden on customers to do their research or can even turn them off to treatment if they have a bad experience with an inexperienced therapist.

There is currently no standards for certification, with many one-day courses being offered online. So it's important to ensure your therapist has the proper training and experience to safely and effectively incorporate the therapy into your overall treatment.

I've been using cupping therapy for years and have extensive hands-on training.

Why I Use Cupping

When done correctly, massage cupping is a highly effective form of therapy because it allows the therapist to heal the deeper tissues in the body without causing any discomfort to the patient.

Clinical studies have also shown that when consecutive sessions are done, cupping therapy can achieve a significant reduction in pain intensity from chronic back pain.

Methods of Cupping

While cupping can be a stand alone therapy, I like to think of it as another set of hands and typically integrate the practice with other massage techniques to enhance and deepen the benefits of manual massage.

I use silicone cups that do not require heat to create a suction (so there is no risk of burns) and slowly move the cups over soft tissues toward the lymphatic system (Dynamic Cupping) or for those open to the possibility of marks, strategically leave the cups in place for several minutes (Stationary Cupping) in areas needing deep tissue work.

  • Dynamic or Movement Cupping - The technique of slowly and continuously moving the cup over soft tissue to gently yet quickly increase circulation and the body's natural detoxification system and to soften the superficial tissues so I can more quickly access the deeper tissues. This method is less likely to leave marks on the skin.
  • Stationary or Fixed Cupping - This method, also referred to as stagnant cupping, is done by placing cups around major muscle groups, making a suction with the skin to increase blood flow to the area and leaving them there for up to 10 minutes. This method is likely to cause some reddening of the skin directly under the cup.

What Cupping Treats

There are many benefits of cupping therapy and it is used around the world to help treat a wide range of conditions from muscle tension & injuries to stress. It stimulates the body's natural detoxification system by increasing blood flow through the damaged tissues and towards the lymphatic system, the network of organs and tissues responsible for ridding your body of waste and toxins.

I use it as a gentle and effective way to promote faster healing while allowing me to work on multiple areas of the body at once.

Additional types of treatment:

  • Facial cupping - Used to increase collegen, reduce fine lines, plump tissues and decrease inflammation, leaving a healthy more youthful glow.
  • Cellulite treatment - Used to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and water retention and increase elasticity to the connective tissue that causes the appearance of cellulite dimpling. Helps support weight loss and removal of toxic buildup.

What About Cupping Marks?

A good therapist will explain the potential effect of cupping on the skin prior to treatment to get your consent. Darker marks can denote one of two things: poorer circulation to that part of the body or higher levels of toxicity being brought up to the surface. In healthy tissue, these marks will disappear in 1 to 10 days, depending on the individual, the area of treatment and the strength of the suction