Cupping & Therapeutic Massage

Cupping & Therapeutic Massage


Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, releasing toxins, relaxation and overall well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage as well as Myofascial Release.

The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, release and breakdown scar tissue and can reduce cellulite with regular treatments.

Stationary Cupping

Stationary cupping, also referred to as dynamic cupping, sports cupping, or orthopaedic cupping, involves placing cups on the body and leaving them on from anywhere from 1 -20 minutes.  Depending on the goal of treatment, sometimes there will be some assisted stretching or dynamic movement while the cups are in place.  This is the type of cupping that Michael Phelps used; and this type of cupping often will leave temporary cupping marks.

Gliding (Massage/Myofascial) Cupping

Gliding cupping also called MASSAGE cupping and MYOFASCIAL cupping involves placing the cups on the body and keeping them moving.  The cups become an extension of the therapists hands, and can be used therapeutically to the specific areas of need.  Thanks to the development of silicone cups and more pliable cupping materials these cups are safe to go over bone and around the joints.  This type of cupping usually does not leave any marks at all and brings the same benefits of stationary cupping.

When the cups are placed on the skin, the superficial muscle layer is drawn up into the cup, which stimulates the circulation of blood, breaks up adhesions, and creates a pathway for toxins to be drawn out of the body through the lymphatic system. Cupping can affect tissues up to four inches deep—impacting blood vessels, fascia, muscles, and scar tissue.

More and more, cupping is showing up in physical therapy and massage offices as well, under a different name—myofascial decompression (MFD). MFD is essentially the same thing as cupping, and it is being used in the Olympic games for pre and post-workout recovery and detoxification.

Cupping decompresses adhesions and scar tissue, relaxes muscles in spasm, decreases trigger-point pain, and decreases tissue changes and inflammation following trauma. Cumulative treatments increase muscle endurance, circulation, and lymphatic drainage. Each session will enhance athletes’ overall ability to recover from workouts and strenuous activity.

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