The Art of Cupping Massage – Is It for You?

Tips and Tricks of Massage Therapy
By: Julie Keating

Cupping is not a new therapy; it’s been around since ancient times. Cupping massage, or cupping therapy, is a type of alternative medicine that uses specific kinds of “cups” that are applied to the skin to create suction in various parts of the body. Although it has many uses, the primary goals are to aid with pain cessation, increase blood flow, and serve as a form of deep-tissue massage. So how does it work, and why should you consider it for overall well-being?

The History of Cupping

Cupping therapy might seem like a trendy new massage therapy, but it actually dates back to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern cultures around the world. There is evidence that it was used as a medicinal therapy as far back as 1550 B.C. There are many different cup materials, including glass, earthenware, bamboo, and silicon. Cupping is believed to be a great form of treatment for everything from sore muscles to chronic pain alleviation.

How Does Cupping Work?

Cupping involves the therapist igniting a flammable substance inside the cup to create a fire. Just as the fire is extinguished, the cup is turned upside down and applied to the skin. As the cup begins to cool, it serves as a vacuum, causing the blood vessels of the skin to expand. In recent years, the modern version of cupping uses a rubber-like suction pump rather than fire. Also, therapists often use silicone cups adhered to the skin that give a similar massage effect. 

What Are the Benefits of Cupping?

Although the science has been varied, it does suggest that cupping is a panacea for many illnesses and diseases. It is often used to treat:

  • Blood disorders like anemia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Infertility
  • Eczema and acne
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Migraines
  • Varicose veins
  • Asthma and allergies

Cupping increases blood flow and circulation, which is a great way to reduce inflammation and aid in the healing process. It also is an alternative to pharmaceuticals and comes without the risk of adverse side effects. Although there is the chance that it can produce bruising and slight discomfort, those are typically mild.

Is Cupping Right for You?

Cupping has been around for centuries because practitioners believe that it increases the quality of life for many not finding relief with traditional medicines when it comes to soreness and chronic pain. Overall, it helps the body reduce inflammation, which we are just beginning to understand is the root cause of disease in the body. 

With little to no risk of side effects, cupping might be just the thing to aid you in healing, relaxation, and overall well-being. When combined with other treatment modalities such as acupuncture and healthy eating, cupping massage is a great way to improve your health and happiness. Are you ready to give it a try? Contact us to schedule your cupping appointment today!