Cupping therapy was popularized recently during the Rio Olympics in 2016 due to the media coverage of both the US Swim team and the US Gymnastics team. Members of both teams were shown with obvious cupping marks on their backs and shoulders. Cupping therapy has a very long history of treatment and is clinically used most commonly for musculoskeletal issues.
Cupping is applied using a "cup" literally, or some other item which allows the practitioner to create a suction to the area in which it is applied. Historically items such as clay bowls or cups were used; even actual horns occasionally. Traditionally fire was used to create the suction. Today however, there are many other options which are not as complex and are quite easy to apply.
Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure and stress).
Cupping therapy often leaves marks which can be mistaken for bruises. Since they were not caused by trauma, these are not actually bruises and instead are indicative of an increased blood flow to the area and often are helpful in releasing toxins. Typically the marks resolve after a few days up to a week or two. As the blood flow in the area improves and the muscle function improves, the marks lessen and are simply a slight pinkish red tone. the coloration and appearance of the marks are actually one of the ways the practitioner can diagnose what the underlying problem is that is being treated. Below are photos of some of the cups used to create the suction.
Cupping for Facial Rejuvenation
This cupping technique eliminates buildup of wastes and fluids in the face and neck. This treatment will increase the circulation to the face and increase nutrients brought to the epidermis as well as enhance absorption of facial topicals. The action is cumulative, especially if the treatments are done 1-2 times per week. Each client will have differing amounts of stagnation, so the perfect number of treatments will vary by patient. This can be a fantastic option a few days prior to a big event such as a wedding or class reunion.
Cupping for Cellulite Reduction
Cellulite is that lovely dimpling that many women have on the backs of their thighs and buttocks. It is apparent on a woman's body due to the organizational structure of the fat cells accumulated in those areas. This treatment protocol can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite and smooth out the region, often within just one or two sessions. Additional benefits are increased circulation in the area as well as improved lymph drainage which will help clear toxins from your body. Each client's body will respond differently to the sessions, so the ideal number will vary by patient.