Cupping Therapy is a form of Traditional Chinese medicine. Like acupuncture, cupping has been documented as a healing remedy in works written by Chinese herbalists dating back to 300 AD.
Cupping is a technique that uses small glass cups as suction devices that are placed on the skin, usually on the back. A cotton ball is used to create a flame which, in one fluid motion, is placed into the cup, quickly removed, and the cup is placed on the skin. By adding fire to the inside of the cup, oxygen is removed and the suction is created.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be left in place along the acupressure points or meridians of the body, or can be moved across the skin, referred to as “gliding cupping”. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Think of cupping as the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most individuals, this is a particularly relaxing sensation. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and relax the nervous system. Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines and more.
Cupping can be added on to a traditional table massage or experienced as a stand-alone treatment.