At Melbourne Natural Therapies we offer remedial massage and myotherapy treatment. Our massage therapists use a variety techniques and tools to most effectively treat myofascial pain and one of the treatments we find clients in Melbourne are regularly asking about is cupping.
At Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies we offer traditional flame cupping and myofascial cupping using suction cups. There is no difference in the outcome for the client in the type of cups used but they do look a little different.
One of the more intriguing aspects of cupping is the colouration of the skin that it can cause. The circular shapes that can appear after a cupping treatment are referred to as marking. They are not bruises, which are caused by an injury to the body, and they do not hurt like bruises would. Thinking of the marking as bruising also brings to mind a painful procedure, whereas often cupping is a more comfortable experience than deep tissue massage if the massage therapist uses the right level of suction for the tissue being treated. Marking is a completely natural result caused from the vacuum of the cup drawing stagnated blood through the tissue.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the colouration and presentation of the marking is used as a diagnostic indicator to determine underlying pathologies. However, in Western massage therapy, cupping is primarily used for myofascial treatment and manipulation and the marking is not interpreted in the same way. At Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies we may use cupping as part of your remedial or myotherapy massage when massage alone is not resolving muscular tension and fascial adhesion. Tight muscles result in reduced blood flow, called ischemia, and this can lead to a build-up of waste products in the tissues. A cupping treatment with your massage therapist at Melbourne Natural Therapies will help to bring fresh blood to areas being treated and with it the necessary essential minerals and nutrients essential for muscular health. The lifting action of the cups will also put a stretch on your muscle to treat myofascial trigger points, or knots, to return a muscle to its full length and elasticity, restoring power.
Cupping massage can help to produce a change in the fascia (connective tissue) as well as the muscles. Gliding or sliding cupping has a stretching and rippling effect on the fasica surrounding a tight muscle and stationary cupping creates a long, slow, sustained stretch which can alter tight fascia. These different techniques may result in improved blood flow, lengthened muscle and more mobility and range of movement.
Usually an area of deep black colouration after a cupping treatment occurs where there has been sufficient injury or overuse of a particular muscle or region. That’s not to say that cupping without marking has not been worthwhile. In fact, clients at our Melbourne clinic are sometimes disappointed when their cupping treatment doesn’t produce marks! A darker coloured mark will become less intense after 24 hours but will usually take a few more days to disappear completely. Most marking fades within 4 – 10 days although some with poorer blood flow such as smokers or those who are dehydrated may find that they regularly take the upper end of that estimate for their marking to fade. With the Melbourne summer coming up our massage therapists will always ask before proceeding with a cupping treatment just in case a wedding or social event is coming up where a cupping mark might spoil the look of a backless dress!
If you would like to make an appointment for a remedial or myotherapy massage at Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies and include a cupping treatment you may book online or call us on 03 9645 9923