What is Cupping Therapy?
Lets think about a clogged sink. The solution is often simple. By applying a plunger and creating a vacuum, the clog can be released and free flow in the pipe can be reestablished. Cupping therapy on the body works pretty much the same way on the energy pathways. By placing special suction cups over specific areas in the body that tend to get clogged, we can release and move out stagnation in the energy pathways.
Cupping is a powerful detoxifying, pain relieving and energy building modality that people all over the world use for health maintenance. Negative pressure, rather than tissue compression, is superior for bodywork for pain, stubborn conditions, repetitive strains, inflammation, toxicity, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, etc… Suction cups rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosen & lift connective tissue, break up and drain stagnation while increasing blood & lymph flow to skin & muscles in ways not possible using compression.
One of the common and unfortunate misconceptions concerning cupping is the misinterpretation of the discoloration. “Bruising” is caused by impact trauma with breakage of capillaries and reactionary rush of fluids to the damaged area from the tissue compression/injury. There is no compression in properly employed suction cup therapy. Although it is quite common during Stationary Cupping (left static for 5 – 20 minutes) to achieve dramatic ‘marks’ or ‘discolorations’, the less aggressive action of moving the cups, minimizes the intensity and duration of the discolorations. Often, when a condition exists within deeper structures where sufficient pathological factors and stagnant fluids (toxins, blood and lymph) are dredged up during treatment, discoloration will appear on the skin. This is the therapeutically desired effect – the more this is visible, the greater the level of stagnation and toxicity. The discoloration will fade over a few days. As treatments accumulate and the release of stagnation and buildup has been dispersed and drained – (usually by the 3rd or 4th treatment) no discoloration is likely to occur at all; even though each time the cupping may have been focused on the same area for the same duration and with the same amount of negative pressure. This is clearly the result of having internal unwanted toxins systematically purged.
Another benefit of Cupping is that it can feel really great when done properly for your constitution and current physiology and/or condition. The pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, thus allowing a deep relaxation to move through the entire body. It is not unusual to fall asleep when receiving this treatment. You will be surprised at how relaxed, warm and light you’ll feel – hours… sometimes even days afterwards.
Here at Present Moment Massage, cupping is an additional tool used to help better facilitate bodywork. There is no extra charge for cupping therapy. Joanna Dembek is fully certified in Advanced Cupping Therapy through ICTA (International Cupping Therapy Association http://cuppingtherapy.org/).