Cupping is a powerful deep tissue and myofascial release therapy affecting tissues and muscle layers up to four inches deep from the external skin. One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying a downwards pressure to muscles by the practitioner; the vacuum of the cups uses pressure to pull upwards on the fascia, soft, connective tissues and superficial muscles. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, increase blood, oxygen and lymph flow, removes toxins and stagnant, dead blood (*post-surgery) all while sedating the nervous system and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing a deep relaxation. Cupping is used to relieve pain and muscle stiffness. It provides relief for stress, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, poor circulation and even cellulite. Cupping may be used to help control asthma, clearing congestion in the lungs, combatting colds, coughs and the flu.
Cupping involves placing glass jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air with fire. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked partway into the cup. You will usually feel a pulling sensation in the area of the cup. Often, this sensation is relaxing and soothing. Depending on your condition, your practitioner's assessment of the problem and treatment plan; the amount of suction and pressure may vary and cups may be moved around or left in place. They may remain on your body briefly or for longer amounts of time. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day.
Discoloration will occur where the cups are used. The amount of discoloration and how long it takes to go away depends on your condition. The more metabolic waste, toxins, stagnant blood and pressure used; the more color. Cupping marks may disappear in 2-3 days or 2-3 weeks. It is important to increase your water intake when you receive cupping to aid your body in flushing out the waste.
There are 3 different cups
1. Stationary or Fixed Cup:
The cup is placed on a selected acupuncture or ashi point, muscle knot or area of the body selected by the practitioner then left in place for 5-15 minutes.
2. Walking or Gliding Cup:
The practitioner moves the cup along selected planes or along meridians creating an increase in the flow of blood, oxygen and qi.
3. Flying Cup:
The cup is vacuumed to a certain acupuncture/ashi point or muscle knot and then is quickly removed and replaced several times on the same area in order to relieve severe muscle tension and to release body toxins.
The earliest recorded use of cupping came from the famous alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong (281-341 A.D.), who popularized the saying “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.” However, the earliest pictorial records date back to the ancient Egyptians around 1500 B.C. From the Egyptians, cupping was introduced to the ancient Greeks, where Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine and cupping advocate, viewed cupping as a remedy for almost every type of disease.