So, what is massage cupping? It’s a Chinese healing therapy which was developed thousands of years ago, and involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars onto your skin, creating a vacuum which suctions the tissue underneath into the jar. The suction is designed to help boost circulation and relieve pain.
Despite having the word ‘massage’ in its name, it’s actually the opposite of massage. In traditional massage, I apply pressure downward into your muscles and connective tissues. With cupping, I use suction instead, which pulls skin, muscles and tissues upwards.
Cupping works especially well on fleshier areas of the body so it’s common for a treatment to involve the back. It is pleasant and relaxing so you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. As the cup is placed on your body, you may feel a tightening sensation, but if you feel any discomfort at all, I will move the cups around or change to a smaller size cup. At living well I use plastic cups and a technique that involves continuous movement of the cups. Like all of your massage sessions, the use of cupping will be unique to your needs for the issue that is being treated. After a cupping session, your skin may turn red in areas. The redness usually only lasts a few hours.
There are a few different methods of cupping, but the two you’ll hear most are fixed cupping and moving cupping. In fixed cupping, the cups are placed on one area of your body and not moved once they are in place.
Moving cupping is what you will receive at living well. Moving cupping has more of a massage element as I use massage oil along with the cups, placing the cups over the areas to be treated and then sliding them around to allow the suction to affect the skin, muscles and tissue.
What is cupping good for?
Cupping is a good treatment option if you suffer from:
• Stress and/or anxiety
• Pain – especially back pain
• Muscle aches and pains
Cupping is a technique I am always happy to include in your massage, please let me know if you are interested!