Cupping - Bruises or Beneficial?
Cupping: we all think it is a painful modality where glass cups are placed on the body causing painful suction of the skin and when taken off leaves bruises. We are not game enough to give it a go in fear of pain. Do you really know what cupping is?
A lot of traditional Chinese medical practitioners still use the glass cups but a lot of therapists now days are using the more convenient, silicone cups.
Cupping is in fact the placement of the cups on the body over trigger points or around areas of muscle pain where suction is created in the cup pulling the skin/tissue upwards creating negative pressure instead of pressure that deep tissue massage does. This negative pressure is painless, relaxing and very beneficial.
Cupping can be done with gentle cupping strokes or by stationary cupping where depending on your health may cause the cupping marks that so many people relate to cupping. The cupping marks are not bruises as they are often mistaken for, but are marks that are an indication that toxins and stagnation are being pulled to the surface of the body. The marks are also the restoring of the flow of energy and healthy blood flow and they may also be signs of healing due to an old injury in the area. Cupping marks are NOT painful and WILL fade within a few days.
Cupping is a relaxing and beneficial form of massage for those looking for a less painful solution to deep tissue or remedial massage. Cupping increases blood flow, reduces inflammation and improves immune function. It improves your range of motion and relieves you of pain. Instead of compression and release to promote the flow of new fluid for healing, it decompresses to allow fluid flow.
Other cupping benefits:
Helps reduce anxiety and stress
Improves quality of sleep
Helps improve appearance of cellulite and stretch marks
Releases adhesions and softens scares
Helps to clear congestion from asthma and colds
Boosts healthy immune system
Assists in colon blockage and aids digestion and
Relieves common muscle and joint pain
I personally use cupping on myself to increase blood flow and maintain homeostasis as I am not able to massage my own back. When I do have cupping on my back I sleep amazing and feel more subtle. I also use cupping on myself on my legs or shoulders if I have done a heavy workout or a run, to avoid next day muscle soreness and to prevent injury.
Everyone can enjoy the benefits of cupping from rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who benefit by gaining better range of motion and less pain, to people with mobility issues who experience better blood flow to help assist in regulating body temperature to all extremities.
Just like massage, if you are not comfortable during your cupping session you MUST speak up and inform your therapist, you must also drink plenty of water to assist the removal of fluid and not to shower for a few hours after cupping as the pores of your skin have been opened up.
I hope this helps you understand that cupping is not scary or painful but in fact very beneficial, especially if you have pain.