As many people remember, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps had large red circles during the Rio Olympic games a few years ago. Cupping has been practiced throughout Asia for thousands of years, and is now a very popular technique that Massage Therapists perform. Cupping massage can produce overall effects such as decreased pain, improved flexibility and mobility, and improved function.

How Does Cupping Massage Work?

Cupping Massage is a type of massage that uses “cups” to achieve certain benefits. The cups are placed on the tissue of the body, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. The cups can be applied via a suction machine or by lighting a match to create the suction effect. The cups help to decompress the tissue that they are applied onto. Once they are applied, they usually remain on the tissue for a few minutes.

This technique is often combined with other types of massage therapy techniques. For example, many therapists decide to perform effleurage massage after the cupping in order to “flush out” the areas that were cupped. This helps to reduce post-treatment soreness that can sometimes result from the cupping.

Cupping has many effects such as helps to increase blood flow, decrease tightness or restrictions, brings healing cells to the area, and decreases scar tissue or adhesions. Cupping can be performed on the entire body; however, a trained professional will pinpoint the regions that need the treatment. There may be marks that look like bruises where the cups were placed, so a client should always be informed and proper consent given before the technique is applied.

For more information on our online massage therapy program, read our frequently asked questions. 

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