What is Cupping and How Can It Help Me?
Cupping has been practiced by many cultures for thousands of years, using negative pressure to decrease pain. It’s kinda like a reverse massage, instead of pressing into the tissues your practitioner is lifting the tissues to increase flexibility by breaking facia and increasing circulation to stuck and dehydrated tissues.
Recently, cupping has seen an increase in popularity in the United States because of the numerous benefits to the body. Cupping is all the buzz right now, but why are so many athletes using it? Because it works, and not just for athletes! Cupping works by:
Stretching tight muscles and fascia
Stimulating the immune system
In a typical cupping session, cups will be applied to an area of pain or tension. Cups may be left in one place for a period of time if one site is particularly tight, or cups may be moved across the skin to treat a larger area. Shoulders, backs, calves, and thighs are common areas that cupping can effectively treat. Cupping rapidly facilitates rigid soft tissue release while increasing blood and lymph flow to the skin and muscles in ways not possible in traditional, compressive massage. Many find cupping to provide more noticeable results quicker than traditional massage alone, and cupping along with acupuncture can be a powerful combination!
What is cupping used for? By stretching the tissues, promoting the movement of blood and lymph through the tissues, and activating the immune system cupping can relieve pain of all sorts, increase range of motion, and encourage detoxification. All this makes cupping great for:
Tight glutes and hamstrings
IT band pain
Stiff calf muscles
But what are those marks? Cupping marks result from blood and cell debris moving towards the skin’s surface. The discoloration usually dissipates within a few days depending on the person. Cupping marks aren’t the only result of a cupping session – other benefits include increased circulation, reduced pain, increased range of motion, and relaxed muscles.