How Cupping Works
Dry cupping is a form of therapeutic bodywork used to facilitate deep tissue release and aid in bringing about numerous healthful benefits to the body. Negative pressure, or suction, is used to rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosen & lift connective tissue, break up and drain stagnation while increasing blood & lymph flow to the skin & muscles in ways not possible using compression techniques. Simply put, the use of cups allows for a stretching and opening of the tissues in the body. This lifting creates space for fluid to move and helps drain toxins and waste from the cells; than moves that waste out of the body.
Dry cupping uses suction applied to glass, silicone or plastic to pull up the tissue in an affected area. The suction causes a negative pressure, and the underlying skin is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. Negative pressure, rather than tissue compression is superior for bodywork for pain, stubborn conditions, repetitive strains, inflammation, toxicity, chronic fatigue, digestive problems and a slough of other issues we confront. The pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, thus allowing a deep relaxation to move through the entire body.
What to Expect
You'll usually feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup, and that often feels good. Cups are left in place for 5-20 minutes and sometimes the cups are moved around in a gliding motion. Cupping relaxes your muscles, stimulates blood flow, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout your body.
One important thing to know about cupping is that although it is an effective, safe technique, you may have distinctive pink, red or purple circles or streaks on your skin where they were placed. The skin discoloration may last anywhere from a few hours or days. Generally, the area does not hurt, though occasionally they may be a little sore. I always recommend that my clients drink plenty of water and take an Epsom salts bath after a cupping treatment because the salts are anti-inflammatory and can help prevent or relieve soreness.