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How Is Cupping Done?
Through suction and negative pressure, cupping releases rigid soft tissue, loosens adhesions, lifts connective tissue, and brings 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 give your muscle a stretch to treat myofascial trigger points, or knots, and return a muscle to its full length and elasticity, restoring power.
In order to allow easy movement of the cups along the skin, some oil is applied. Friction is generated with moving cups, which provides a small but significant amount of heat. Gliding or sliding cupping has a stretching and rippling effect on the fascia surrounding a tight muscle. Generally, after the moving cups have been used stationary cups are applied, and may be left in place for 10-20 minutes. The skin becomes reddened due to the increase of blood flow. 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.
One of the more intriguing aspects of cupping is the colouration of the skin that it can cause. They look like round circular bruises and are referred to as marking. They are nothing to be concerned about and are a normal part of the cupping process. 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.
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. 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. 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 those 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.
If you would like to make an appointment for a remedial massage or myotherapy massage at Cupping Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies and include a cupping treatment you may book online or call us on 03 9645 9923