Chinese Cupping is extremely effective in the treatment of long standing patterns in the body and can be an add-on to your regular massage session or can be done by itself. It is the best deep tissue massage you can get, but without the discomfort of deep massage work. Chinese cupping works to lift and move muscle and tissue, rather than compress it, so is a very different feeling altogether.
What is cupping?
Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a glass cup is applied to the skin and the lower pressure is used to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Cupping is applied over meridian and acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain. It is most commonly used over the back but can be used throughout the body and is very effective on the thighs (releasing trigger points, particularly good on the IT band), calves, hips (around the hip joint and over the piriformis for an effective release that is less painful than deep tissue massage) and in the treatment of tennis elbow.
Cupping is based on the meridian theory of the body. It removes stagnation in the body and opens the meridians so that qi (energy) can flow freely. Cupping can be used to release rigid soft tissue, stimulate lymphatic drainage, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue whilst promoting blood flow and aiding deep tissue repair.
Cupping has a sedating effect on the nervous system, and many people find it profoundly relaxing. Many people report that muscle tension and tenderness continues to improve many hours after the session is completed.
The Cupping Process
Cups are left in place for between five to fifteen minutes and the skin will redden due to the congestion of blood flow. Some temporary bruising on the skin is to be expected as part of the therapeutic benefits of the procedure – this lasts for several days and these marks can be helpful in diagnosing what is going on beneath the surface of the skin. Red circles can be indicative of inflammation whereas stagnated blood areas will be purple in colour.
How to find a Chinese Cupping Massage Therapist
If you are interested in exploring the benefits of cupping for yourself you can start by finding a local Chinese Medicine Practitioner, or massage therapist trained to administer Chinese cupping. I practice at Brighton Bodyworks in Brighton and Hove, a holistic therapy studio which integrates eastern techniques such as Chinese cupping with traditional western methodology to tailor massage treatments with great results. If you are looking for a massage in Brighton I would be very happy to discuss the treatment options for you and how Chinese cupping could be incorporated in to a massage routine to provide the most benefit to you.