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Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy is a modified version of the common practice of cupping therapy, and the credible results that this simple treatment produces have truly impressed those who experience its precise capability. By creating suction and negative pressure, Massage Cupping™ bodywork is used to drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesion and lift connective tissue, and bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin. Massage Cupping™ therapy is a adaptable method that can easily be modified to accomplish a range of techniques, from lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.
How is Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy accomplished? The cup is positioned over the area of the body to be treated and suction is created using a vacuum gun. The more traditional method involves inserting a flame into a glass cup to create the vacuum. The suction level can range from light to heavy, and the movements performed by the therapist can be stimulating or sedating.
What is the difference between Massage Cupping™ therapy and traditional cupping therapy? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stationary cups are placed on the skin and left for a period of five to fifteen minutes. The goal of cupping therapy is to move stagnation of blood and chi, disperse internal heat, and other applications based on Traditional Chinese Medical diagnostics. Stationary cupping is also used in the home on both adults and children for respiratory conditions, and cups are frequently found on pharmacy shelves and in home medicine cabinets for family use.
The other technique is moving, or ”massage cups.” This is the more common use for massage therapists and other healthcare practitioners. Before applying the cup, the therapist will administer plenty of oil or lotion to facilitate smooth movement. The entire back may be treated, including the neck, shoulders, middle and lower back, and sacral area. The hip and thigh areas may also be treated, and abdominal Massage Cupping™ bodywork feels just incredible. Almost every area of the body will respond to this unique treatment.
How does Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy feel? The sensation is truly indescribable! People often experience deep warmth and a tingling sensation long after the treatment has ended. The action on the nervous system is sedating and people will often descend into a profound state of relaxation. The presence of a deep snore is common!
What are the benefits of Massage Cupping™ bodywork? Massage Cupping™ therapy is not an irritant to the skin or body. It draws the inflammation out, yet does not add to it. The skin will turn red with strong cupping, indicating that the circulation has been brought to the surface. Application of liniments, analgesics, plant hydrosols and essential oil blends immediately after Massage Cupping™ bodywork will enable the absorption of the product deep into the tissue. The increased local blood supply to the muscles and skin will bring nourishment and allow for toxins to be carried away via the veins. Conditions of chronic or acute pain can be relieved with minimal discomfort and tense muscles softened quickly and easily. Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy is wonderfully effective as an addition to a massage or other therapeutic service.
Another effective application of the cupping technique is in the treatment of cellulite. A very light suction provides drainage, while heavier application can be used to stimulate circulation and loosen adhesions or “dimpling.” The thighs and hip region should be cupped prior to a wrapping procedure to enhance the absorption of the product. Enjoy the warm feeling of cupped, energized tissue being painted with soothing algae, mud or gel before being enveloped.
New additions to the Massage Cupping™ bodywork technique include a revolutionary face lifting and drainage treatment and magnetic cupping reflexology for the feet and hands. The magnetic equipment is showing great results in the treatment of injury sites and pain.
Why should I request Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy? One of the most enjoyable aspects of this technique is the incredibly wide range of movements. Creativity provides a variety of methods, while alteration of pressure and speed produces amazingly different sensations. The edge of the cup can be used to “scoop” in across fiber movement Vigorous circles feel marvelous on the hips, thighs and shoulders. Long strokes down the sides of the spine and along the ribs provide ease to rib cage expansion and breathing. Stubborn neck tension can be released in mere minutes and scar tissue softened using a “reverse friction” technique.
People often report that the experience stayed with them longer than most treatments, and the speed with which Massage Cupping™ bodywork effects change in the tissue is truly amazing. When used in a treatment series, the results are cumulative. Yet even in a single treatment, a long-term physical issue may be resolved! Applications for this technique include body contouring, chronic pain relief, pre-surgery prepping and post-surgery recovery (face and body), and more. Conditions that have responded to Massage Cupping™ bodywork include colon disorders, edema, fibromyalgia, sports injury, cellulite, nervous tension and many more!
What is the discoloration that occurs after some treatments? There is a “marked” difference between traditional cupping and the Massage Cupping™ therapy technique. The marks that are commonly left from Chinese medical treatments are the desired result. Massage Cupping™ bodywork very rarely produces this discoloration, called a “cup kiss” or “doo-hickey.” If this appears during the treatment, it’s just an added bonus indicating intense stagnation of body fluid and toxins in the area. This is not a bruise and will dissipate anywhere between a few hours and a few days. It is also unlikely that it will reoccur in the same area.
Is Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy safe? This technique is used safely on children, adults and elderly persons. The most common misuse of the Massage Cupping™ bodywork technique is overuse. Massage Cupping™ bodywork is an intense therapy, and its impact on the body systems is significant. In particular, children, the elderly, persons with diabetes and those on blood thinners should be treated gently. After any Massage Cupping™ therapy treatment, it is important to avoid exposure to excessive heat or cold, and sufficient hydration is required to facilitate elimination. A complete assessment of specific conditions at the time of treatment must be taken into consideration by the practitioner.
Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy is an easy technique to do, but it is not simple. To achieve maximum results safely, training is required. The current workshops are 22 hours to complete, and educational videos/DVDs and books are available. When scheduling a treatment, inquire as to the training of the healthcare professional.
This article is copyrighted material written by the following author:
Anita is the Director of Advanced Continuing Education, an NCBTMB CE provider established in 2001, and has presented numerous workshops on Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy at national locations since 2002. Anita has been published on this subject in Massage Today and Massage Magazine. She has published two educational videos on Massage Cupping’™ bodywork therapy and is currently writing a book on the subject.
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