When you hear cupping, what come to mind? Images of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps looking like he was attacked by an octopus? When you have muscle pain, it is a signal that your muscle fibers may be stuck together. This reduces blood flow and nerve conduction, further contributing to pain and lack of movement. Cupping therapy is an effective way to ease muscle restriction and pain. Think of Cupping as the inverse of deep tissue massage. Instead of pressing down onto muscle tissue (often with discomfort), cups are placed on the body and the therapist pulls up on the cup, drawing blood and oxygen up through the muscles while lifting and separating stuck tissue layers. This dual action nourishes the muscle fibers, allowing them to relax, restoring the flexibility and ability of the muscle to function to its potential. A cup that is placed and allowed to be stationary draws the blood up through the muscle and can result in a “Cupping Mark”, or discoloration. This is not a bruise or an octopus attack!. This discoloration usually dissipates within 3 -5 days. Moving the cups in different combinations facilitates movement and drainage of lymph and the elimination of toxins and debris. This draining action helps reduce the potential for discoloration.
New to cupping? I suggest taking it slow and building up your body’s ability to release toxins and debris that have accumulated over time. As with other therapies, cupping is not a quick fix. It may take several sessions to achieve full function.
Janice Landfair, LMT