Cupping has been used for thousands of years in a variety of cultures from Egypt to China, and while it’s been popular among those “in the know” for years here in the states, it didn’t really hit the mainstream knowledge base until the 2016 Olympics when Michael Phelps and other athletes were sporting the tell-tale circular marks all over their bodies. The marks may cause some people to be a little wary of the method, but you’ll probably love this technique – and we can most definitely work in a way that doesn’t leave those marks on you.
During a cupping session, we’ll use silicone cups to provide that negative pressure; essentially drawing the skin up into the cup to spread and separate the underlying connective and muscular tissues. While each cupping session is tailored to your needs, we’ll more than likely use a combination of gliding, stationary, and mobilized cupping. In some areas we’ll glide the cups around after we create the suction. This feels incredible and really allows the cups to work on large areas. Stationary just means that there may be areas, especially those that are really restricted and tight, where we’ll create that suction in the cup and then leave it still for a few minutes to hold that separation in tissue and give your body time to respond by loosening up. While those cups are stationary, we may take you through some mobilizations and range of motion to provide some more detailed work to specific restrictions.
For example, if you’re having some limitations in your shoulder movement, we might place the cups along part of the pecs and rotator cuff and then move your arm through a variety of angles to isolate the cups’ effect on certain muscles and connective tissue. This really helps address those holding patterns that can wreak havoc on the body. If you’ve had an injury or otherwise have some mild swelling going on, we can also use the cups for lymphatic drainage, manually pushing the fluid out of those areas.
Cupping not only feels great, but it also gets the blood and lymph flowing, allows us to target specific problem areas, and is highly beneficial to those who struggle with the pressure of normal massage therapy. You really can get the benefits of deep tissue massage without the direct pushing pressure into the body.
Here at Michigan Massage & Wellness we’ve been practicing cupping for quite some time, including doing training in Neuromuscular Cupping Therapy from Boulder Cupping Therapy and love seeing how much our clients benefit from it. Add cupping to your next massage session or consider doing a standalone session and give this amazing technique a try. You won’t regret it!
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT