Massage Cupping: What Is It?

Massage suction cupping set.

Massage Suction Cupping Set

By now many of you have experienced the healing effects of massage cupping. A lot of questions arise when I break these little guys out so I thought I would address exactly what massage cupping is and why I choose to use the method. I prefer to use the Suction Cup technique, also known as Body Vacuuming, but there is also Fire Cupping, which uses heat to create a vacuum inside a cup using a combustible (alcohol), then quickly applying the cup to the skin. Both are ancient Chinese healing practices still in use today. Suction cups produce vacuums on the body’s surface by manually withdrawing the air through the suction gun, rather than the traditional way of burning up oxygen. If you think of massage in terms of positive pressure (pressing in on body tissues), then Massage Suction Cupping is negative pressure, drawing body tissues out from the body, to stimulate them with a reverse massage. The skin presses up into the cup, and there is usually a reddening of the area under pressure.

So when and why do I use this method? When I come across very stubborn adhesions (knots) and tight muscles cups soften the muscles, loosen adhesions, lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways more comfortably than sticking my elbow in the area for minutes on end. Cups multitask quickly and effectively, making your session that much more beneficial and healing.

Gwyneth Paltrow after a massage cupping session.

Gwyneth Paltrow After A Massage Cupping Session

Discoloration does occur after treatment and this is normal and a desired result, even though it looks scary. The marks show intense stagnation of body fluid and toxins in the area. This is not a bruise and will dissipate anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It is very important to up water intake after a session to ease elimination of toxins. Many are regularly experiencing the huge healing effects of cupping from celebrities to Olympic athletes. In fact, massage cupping is so safe it’s used on everyone from children to the elderly.

Conditions that respond to treatment especially include:

  • Whiplash
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Sluggish Colon
  • Olympian Swimmer Wang Qun
  • IBS
  • Stagnant Lymph and Edema
  • Poor Circulation
  • Sciatica
  • Insomnia and Anxiety
  • Poorly Nourished Skin and Muscle Tissue
  • Lung Inflammation and Congestion
  • Sinus Infections, Pneumonia, and Bronchitis
  • CELLULITE AND FACE LIFTS! (That’s right ladies)
Olympian swimmer Wang Qun.

Olympian Swimmer Wang Qun

Massage cupping therapy is not an irritant to the skin or body and actually draws inflammation out, yet does not add to it. I do know that most people in a massage session prefer to feel hands on them most of the time. Given that, I only use massage cups as necessary when I find something particularly troublesome. Never be afraid to tell me of your preference, whether you choose not to have me use massage cups or to increase the use of them on trouble spots or cellulite. Remember, it’s your session.

See you on the table!

Michael Phelps shows off cupping marks at 2016 Olympics.

Michael Phelps 2016 Olympics