Good-morning my fellow Sunflower Room followers! Today, we’re going to talk about something you may never have heard of: Cupping. Cupping is a pretty unique healing practice. Some of you may have seen cupping bruising on Michael Phelps with the Olympics tour in Rio in the year of 2016. He had received cupping minutes before his swim meet competition, and stated to the press that cupping helps his muscles loosen to prepare for the fast smooth swim tournament which I believe he won (don’t hold me entirely to that detail)!
Cupping is also visually recognized by perfectly symmetrical bruises that it can leave on the body. Many of my clients ask, “Alina, what are the benefits of this technique, and what IS it?” The answer is pretty simple. Cupping is an ancient therapy in which glass (or silicone) cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body. Suction is created (by a hand pump, in my case) as a way to stimulate the flow of blood, proper calcium deposits, help with pain, inflammation, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage. The clients that benefit the most from cupping are people with poor blood flow I.E. clients who are always cold and have basic limb neuropathy (numbness).
My clients who come in to my office who complain of constant deep tissue muscle fascicles that constantly flare up through every day movement are prime candidates for the use of cupping. It’s my go-to tool to prevent needing to dig into that muscle knot, which can cause unnecessary soreness for my clients, and myself! Using cupping can protect my hands from being worn out over the course of breaking up fascicles that are flaring up. Sometimes those knots are resistant even to massage, and cupping can force the tension to release, while restoring blood flow. Cupping is a technique that can even be used to help clients with acute (short) bronchitis or breathing barriers! It isn’t a life long remedy for clients with Asthma or other respiratory chronic (long-term) illnesses, of course.
I recommend cupping to most clients, but there are some clients I do NOT recommend this therapy to, for medical reasons. Clients with vein blood blockage shouldn’t receive cupping, and neither should people who are diabetic (this technique will result to immense redness on the skin and deep tissue bruising). Another Medical concern that would prevent me from using cupping with a client is Edema (excessive fluid build up in the tissues of the body). It’s also important to make sure that you aren’t pregnant when receiving cupping, due to increased fluid retention through out the body. In that case, I might incorporate cupping during a session in the arms or possibly in the leg region ONLY, because it helps with proper blood flow for the mommy to regain proper motor sensations in the hands or feet.
There are many specific techniques I use when cupping. My main technique during cupping, is slow and rhythmic. I will not leave cups alone along the spinal column for more than 30 seconds and will use the suction cup up and down the muscle grouping and allow the blood flow to rise up to the surface of the skin. Then I massage that tissue and allow freedom for the muscle fascicle. After that, I move on to applying heat onto the loosened muscles to continue facilitating a tension release in the muscle itself.
One of the best ways to learn more about cupping is to have a session yourself! Please feel free to contact me and visit my office so that you can explore new therapy plans. You can schedule your appointment HERE, or simply call/text me to get on the calendar! Thank you for taking the time to read, and if you have any thoughts or comments please share with me! I will do my best to respond in a quick fashion.
Until next time,
Alina T. Maury L.M.T.