Cupping therapy is another technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which uses small glass cups to create a suction on top of the skin. This suction creates a gentle pressure pulling the skin and superficial muscles outward toward the surface. We sometimes call it a reverse massage, since the vacuum creates a gentle outward pull, instead of pushing inwards. Cupping is used to activate the underlying tissues, increase circulation, and encourage local healing. Cupping is commonly done on the upper back to help treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma, as well as being an effective treatment for muscle pain and tension. Cups are usually left in place for 5-10 mins.
Pink, red to purple marks may be left on the skin. You might have seen these marks on your favorite athletes or celebrity! These marks are common with conditions of “excess stagnation”, commonly pain conditions. These marks are a normal and therapeutic response. As we are pulling up the stagnation in the muscle and fascia we are bringing fresh and new circulation to the area to heal and loosen the the muscle and underlying tissues. These marks will fade over time, they may last for up to a week depending on the severity of the condition.