There are various types of cups used for cupping massage including, bamboo, glass, silicone and plastic. In all types the goal is to create a vacuum in the cup, which draws the layers of skin and fascia up and creates separation among them. The negative pressure of the cup also draws new blood to the area which can remove stagnation between the newly separated layers of tissue.
What to Expect
hen incorporating cupping massage into treatment I use plastic cups with a pump to draw air out and create the vacuum. Before the cups are applied I typically warm up the tissue using massage gel or lotion and General Swedish Massage techniques, however the cups can be applied directly onto the skin without a lubricant. Depending on our goals the cups may remain in one place while I treat the surrounding area (stationary cupping), or I may glide the cups around the area (cupping massage). Once the cups are applied they can be left on for various amounts of time depending on client goals, comfort, and tissue health, but 15 minutes is generally how long I apply them for. It is quite common for the client to experience a “tightness” or “pulling” of the tissue upward as well as a strong sense of warmth in the areas treated due to the increased blood flow and separated layers of tissue. The use of cupping massage should be relaxing and not painful so if you do feel discomfort it is important let me know and we can adjust the suction or discontinue the use of the cups.
If it is your first time trying cupping massage I will typically only use a few cups so that we can gage you’re reaction and determine if you like the treatment. If you find it to be beneficial more cups may be applied in subsequent treatments.
After Cupping Massage
You may, or may not, experience the following after a session of cupping massage:
A sensation of heat in the area. The area of skin treated my be slightly raised, especially if stationary cupping was implemented
Skin discolouration – this can range from simple red rings that disappear relatively quickly, to ecchymosis or “bruising” that may last for a week or more depending on the client. Since the “bruise” is a result of a vacuum and not compression injury, it should not hurt to touch
Drinking water after a cupping massage treatment is recommended
Benefits of Cupping Massage
Cupping can improve tissue health in areas including:
Increasing range of motion in cases where fascia is restricting movement
Bringing fresh blood into the area helps promote muscle healing
Decreasing muscle tone by activating Golgi tendon organ receptors
Old Adhesions and Scars:
Separation of “stuck” tissue layers draws fluid in and increases mobility of healed scars
In areas such as the IT Band cupping can aid in relief on knee pain
Spine and Ribs:
Cupping is a great alternative for creating separation of tissues and decompression of joints in an area where the downward pressure of General Swedish techniques cannot be used
The increase in circulation helps remove the stagnation present in the tissue
Precautions with Cupping
Cupping massage is not used in cases where clients are experiencing:
Acute inflammation, swelling, or edema
Open or recently healing wounds
Issues with bleeding, or blood clotting
Over a hernia
Caution is used in cases such as:
The use of blood thinning medications, or pain medications
People with less skin elasticity (elderly)
Feel the Benefits for Yourself!
You can have cupping as a standalone treatment, or in combination with massage and other treatment techniques that I offer, such as Fascial Stretch Therapy. We’ll take a few minutes to discuss your concerns and decide on what’s right for you. You can easily book online at www.activeapproach.ca or give us a call at (902) 429-2225, and one of our staff members would be happy to find a suitable appointment time for you schedule! I look forward to helping you!