Cupping is an ancient form of massage that has been used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese for thousands of years.  It involves placing a cup onto the skin to create suction and then using massage lotion to slide the cup over the skin.  Traditionally glass cups are used, and flame reduces the oxygen to cause a suction.  However, it is much safer and easily controlled to use plastic cups and mechanical suction.  It works very much the same way as deep tissue massage would but lifts the skin and underlying structures up rather than pressing down.  As a result of this it works very much faster and is less painful than deep tissue massage can be. The main effects of the treatment are:

  • Increase in local blood flow.
  • Increase in lymph flow, reducing inflammation.
  • Reduction in cortisol, the unhappy hormone.
  • Increase in endorphins and serotonin, the happy hormones.
  • Reduction in pain.

It is an excellent treatment for tight stiff muscles, trigger points and muscle spasm and is best used in conjunction with a home exercise plan to treat the cause of any muscle problems.

Cupping can be a quite forceful treatment and can occasionally result in bruising of the skin, because of this, not everyone will be suitable for cupping.  If your skin is quite frail or damaged, if you have active cancer, if you have a blood disorder or are on high doses of blood thinners, cupping is not advised for you.



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