“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, “Wow, what a ride!” – Unknown
I love the fact that many of my clients take this quote and live by it. However, it does provide some challenges for me to help correct that “thoroughly used up, totally worn out body”. I am always trying new things and so for the next several weeks we will be exploring some different techniques some I have never tried before. Which brings me to Cupping Therapy.
According to Wikipedia “Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing.” In chinese medicine the suction cups are placed many times with heat and left on one area. In the massage therapy field the practitioner uses suction cups as part of fluid movement massage really helping to draw up the fluid and waste in the deep areas of the tissue. With your average massage the practitioner is pushing into the tissue but cupping therapy lifts the tissue up. The combination forms a very complete treatment.
Don’t let the images on the internet scare you. Many of these are for the chinese medicine cupping and the marks are not bruises. It is removing old blood and old debris so that comes to the surface and then very quickly is carried out of the body.
Cupping is currently being used:
- To treat firefighters in the removal of the debris from smoke inhalation from their lungs and other tissues. Many times this makes the skin turn a grey color for several minutes as that old smoke is drawn out of the tissue.
- Scar Tissue. Cupping therapy helps to pull the tissue apart and causes the tissue to now accept fresh lymph and blood into the area allowing the scar tissue to break up. C-section scars can many times be broken up and it allows that swollen pouch many experience to be eliminated. The age of the scar does not normally effect this therapy. Old scars are welcome.
- Deep Tissue therapy and ligament treatment.
- Body Contouring and lymphatic drainage.
The tissue is opened and fluid can freely flow through the tissue. The cupping is part of the massage much the same as heated stones are part of a massage. The cupping I experienced is much more like the video I have linked to this article.
I went to one of my trusted massage therapists that had recently been trained in cupping to try it out. It felt like she was gently lifting my skin and some underlying tissue away from the bones and a rush of fluid was being moved. It was amazing. Around very over used joints like my shoulders I could feel that the tissue was stuck together and a mild burning sensation as it broke apart. I was not sore the next day and my hands and arms felt much more energized and my neck felt brand new. The benefit that truly surprised me was the work she did on my tummy. I recently lost 100 lbs and after four kids the skin is having some issues bouncing back. To my surprise the next day it was noticeably tighter and some of the stretch marks had eased. I can’t wait for my next cupping session next week.
I am now taking a class and hope to be able to offer this new therapy in March!