What is cupping?
Cupping is a type of alternative medicine that utilizes suction to separate tissue layers and create space for circulation. The cups are either left stationary or glided over the skin’s surface using massage oil. Cupping feels a lot like a deep tissue massage but isn’t painful. Cupping often leaves red or purple cupping marks, which will fade away within a few days but may faintly linger for 2 weeks. People get cupping therapy for many purposes including help with:
- Tension release
- Blood flow
- Myofascial Release
What helps with
Decreasing Pain – Studies have shown that the use of cupping can help with pain. Cupping can increase blood circulation, improve lymph flow, reduce inflammation and increase tissue pliability, all of which can contribute to pain reduction.
Reducing Inflammation – Cupping helps your body reduce inflammation through suction. The suction draws fluid into the area which helps to increase blood circulation and lymph flow which contributes to reduced inflammation. The suction force also expands and breaks open tiny blood vessels at the applied areas which causes the body to treat the cupping area like an injury. This stimulates the natural healing process and causes your body to release numerous chemicals, fibroblasts, and whit blood cells in the afflicted areas.
Increasing Blood Flow – Cupping increase blood flow in the placement areas of the cups. This has been shown to relieve muscle tension in the affected areas which can improve overall blood flow in the area. In addition, it may also promote cellular repair, help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels, all of which can contribute to increased healthy blood flow.
Decreasing Tension – In addition to increasing blood flow, cupping provides a gentle sustained stretch for loosening tight muscles and connective tissue adhesions. By hydrating the area and decreasing tension the tissue in the affected area has improved pliability.
Relaxation: As the body releases the tension held in the tissue the autonomic nervous system will begin to downregulate which brings about a state of relaxation.
How cupping is utilized at Body Heal Therapy:
At Body Heal Therapy we may use static cupping, gliding cupping and cupping with movement in any bodywork session where we feel it is needed. The stationary cups and cups with gliding are used for the benefits listed above but, the cupping with movement has its own unique purpose. Cupping with movement allows us to utilize the cups for assistance with myofascial release. ‘Myo’ means muscle and ‘fascial’ means fascia. Fascia is the network of connective tissue running through your entire body. Fascia, when it is healthy, is soft and flexible. But, fascia can become tough and inflexible due to reasons such as poor posture, repetitive motion, injury, or high stress, just to name a few. Just like the myofascial release technique we perform with our hands, the cups provide a stationary point of contact to increase the stretch applied to the fascia. Coupled with movement this allows us to address large areas of fascial restriction and long fascial patterns in the body.