Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system. Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, and rheumatism.
Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. Suction is created using heat or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps). Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes and the massage therapist continues with the massage. At Lake Oswego Massage Therapy, we use hand pumps and the cups are primarily stationary.
Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. It is important to note that the movement of stagnant blood and toxins can cause marks to appear on the body where the cups were placed. Although, they are not painful they can take seven to ten days to discolor and disappear.
Generally, cupping is combined with massage in one treatment, but it can also be used alone. At Lake Oswego Massage Therapy we try to integrate the wonderful benefits of cupping into our massages, so please inform your therapist if this is something you would like to try.