Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts therapeutic cups on the skin that create suction and negative pressure. Many individuals seek cupping therapy for a number of reasons which you can find throughout this page. However, before we explain benefits, let's touch on the history briefly.
Cupping Therapy has been around for thousands of years. The exact origin however is unknown. Most people consider the Chinese to be the originators. Others believe ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy around 1500 B.C. It is through translated hieroglyphics and ancient texts that [we know] this therapy was used to treat many different aliments such as fever, vertigo, pain, respiratory disease, and to help accelerate the healing process in general.
There have been several different types of cups used throughout the years. It started with hollowed animal horns and bamboo which eventually were replaced with glass, hard plastic, and silicone.
How It Works
Now that you have basic background knowledge as to where cupping originated, you're most likely wondering... How does it work, exactly? One way others have been explaining it is massage in reverse.
Cupping is super fascinating, and is very helpful and quick when it comes to releasing muscle tension and sedating the nervous system. The cups are depressurized using different techniques depending on the type of cup that's being used. For instance, practitioners that use glass cups will use fire to heat up the air inside the cup just before placement to extract oxygen and create a vacuum effect. No worries, these cups are not hot and do not burn you. However, if you're nervous about the use of fire then worry no more, R&R uses silicone cups! To create that negative pressure we simply place the cup onto the area we would like to assist in releasing and press onto it, which releases the air inside and sucks up the soft tissue (i.e. the skin, muscles and fascial tissue). The suction of the cup can produce redness of the skin or round purple marks (aka: cup kisses) due to the congestion of blood flow. If you are left with these marks after a cupping session please don't be alarmed as it's completely normal and beneficial. These marks indicate that tension is apparent and they bring awareness to the area which promotes efficient healing.
Prior to the placement of the cups, your therapist will apply oil and warm the tissue with massage. Once the soft tissue is ready, the cups are attached. Depending on what is needed by the client in a session, your therapist will start to move the cups around or place them in a specific area for 5-15 minutes. When your therapist feels the cups have worked their magic they will remove them.
Benefits of Cupping
- Encourages blood flow.
- Relieve migraines.
- Promote swift and healthy healing.
- Loosens muscles efficiently.
- Sedates the nervous system.
- Reduces chronic pain.