What Is Cupping
If you ask WebMD, you will get this answer: Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Here at Massage Reimagined, we use cupping therapy a little different than most practitioners. First of all, we primarily use Baguanfa Soft Silicone Cups for our cupping (although Travis seems to love fire cupping as well). Second, we incorporate the cupping treatment directly into our massage and move the cups right along with our massage strokes until we find troubled areas where we can focus our cupping therapy. This allows us to leverage the complementary benefits derived from creating a localized vacuum (negative pressure) with the benefits derived from manual tissue manipulation (positive pressure), joint manipulation, and relaxation work. Third, we do not usually leave the telltale big round cupping marks that most practitioners leave, that is, unless you want that type of cupping.
Just as there are different levels of manual pressure in massage therapy, there are also different levels of vacuum or negative pressure used in Massage Cupping Therapy from very light to very “heavy.” If a client requests, we can use the cups more extensively for a more traditional or intense Massage Therapy Cupping Treatment Session.
Benefits of Cupping Therapy
The benefits of cupping therapy are widely debated and sometimes sensationalized, like when Michael Phelps created an international cupping treatment buzz after he sported the telltale marks during the Olympics.
For us, we believe that the vacuum created by the suction effect of the cups increases blood and lymphatic circulation systemically and locally, relaxes the muscle and connective tissue, draws out “stagnation”, pathogenic factors and toxins from the tissues, and releases a myriad of pain causing factors — and that is in addition to the physiological and relaxation benefits of our Deep Lomi massage.
Cupping therapy is also a great form of self-care. However, we believe it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare practitioner as well as a qualified cupping practitioner to establish a self-care cupping protocol before you start placing the suction cups all over your body. When you are ready here is a link to the cups that we prefer on Amazon because of the quality of the silicone and ease of use.
Baguanfa Silicone Cups
The Baguanfa Silicone Cups come in many different sizes and they easily change shape, making for an amazing array of places these cups can be fit and used on the body. The Baguanfa silicone cups are much more supple than other silicone cups and are much easier to manipulate. Places that traditional cups are difficult or impossible to be used on, like the elbows, knees, scapulae, hands, feet, abdominals, shoulders, and spine, just to name a few.
Bony prominences are no longer off limits to these moving and flexible cups. The flexibility of these cups makes them the best choice in deep tissue massage, myofascial release, dynamic cupping during joint manipulations, and in my Deep Lomi applications. They are also clear so you can see the actual work that you are doing as opposed to the opaque soft cups available today.
Look at the diagram below to see how we integrate our cupping treatments directly into our massage strokes, often leaving no marks at all, but still getting all of the great benefits.
If you would like to learn more about massage cupping therapy or include it in your next session, just ask your therapist when you come in or get in touch with us by phone or email.
Some Cupping Examples From Our Tables…
Here are some pictures from our cupping sessions, we will be adding a couple of videos soon so that you can see how we integrate the cupping into our massage therapy sessions.