Chinese Medicine Cupping

Cupping the back

Frequently Asked Questions

Massage with Chinese Medicine Cups (or Cupping) is a preventative and restorative treatment. It involves creating a partial vacuum in glass cups before placing these on the body. The cups can be left in position or moved over the skin to create a pumping action. Cupping assists relaxation and relieves tension, soothes sore and aching muscles, improves circulation and assists in restoring balance and normal muscle functioning. It also draws out toxins and metabolic wastes stored in muscles and facilities their removal through increasing lymph and blood circulation.
A partial vacuum is created in glass cups and these are placed on the body. The cups are left in place or moved over the skin. Where the cups are move, oils will be massaged into the skin. Cupping has a number of effects that help in localised healing. It draws stagnation and toxins closer to the surface, increasing blood supply to the area so the small blood and lymph vessels can carry away debris and bring in nutrients. The vacuum also helps to separate muscle fibres that may be twisted or bound, making it possible for muscles, tendons and ligaments to glide smoothly, easing movement and decreasing pain.
Cupping feels like having a massage. Different suction rates are applied and this creates increasing sensation. Unlike massage the sensation is more pulling than compression of tissue. Most people find it very relaxing.
Any chronic muscle or joint pain, including arthritis will benefit. Also acute muscle spasms can be released. Cupping is particularly good at stretching and relaxing tight muscles, which could be limiting the mobility of a joint. Cupping is typically used on the back, buttocks, hamstrings, IT bands and calf muscles.
Due to the increase blood flow in the area of the cups some red colouration of the skin usually occurs which may take a few minutes to a week or more to clear. Like deep tissue massage, some soreness can be felt up to 48 hours after the treatment. This is natural and part of the healing process.
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