History of cupping
traditional cupping has been around for over 5000 years and has been performed all over the world. cupping has been a favored and an unfavored treatment in the general practice of medicine through the years. The popularity of cupping has increased once again recently due to Olympians and celebrities displaying their cupping marks on television and in media print. the earliest of traditional cupping was used to restore Energy (qi) blockages, dispel colds, headaches, dizziness, and abdominal pain using the meridian system. later, the treatments were expanded to include respiratory, digestive pain, gynecological and other disorders.
Modern massage cupping is a newer version of cupping and is based on western or allopathic medicine and is used to help alleviate muscle pain, trigger points, fascial and myofascial adhesions, to move lymph, reduce joint pain, and to help increase collagen in targeted areas by tightening skin and to promote healing.
types of cups
there are several different styles of cups. the most common are the glass cups that use fire to remove the oxygen inside the cup causing suction when applied to the skin. after the 20th century, newer styles of cups have been developed with the most popular being the plastic cups with the pump gun for suction and silicone cups that can be squeezed to create suction.
it doesn't matter which of the cups you use, the premise is the same. create suction with the cup and apply it to the skin. once applied with suction, the skin and tissue will rise up into the cup. depending on the size and area you are receiving work on, specific cups will work better than others. for example, for facial cupping, you want to use smaller cups with less suction due to the surface area being smaller and more delicate. if you use stronger suction on your face or massage over the same area repeatedly, you will have bright skin discoloration just as you would on other body parts. most people would prefer not to have marks on their face, so for this reason, you would use smaller cups for lights suction.
When the tissue is raised into the cup, several different things are occurring. the tissue under the skin begins separating, energy blockages can be restored, trigger points can be released, rehydration occurs to the fascia allowing for the fascia to return to its healthier state. oxygen and blood flow are returned to ischemic areas of tissue.
depending on what is going on under the skin, discoloration is highly likely. many incorrectly refer to this as a bruise. a bruise is caused by trauma to a vein causing blood to seep into the tissue area. as a result, the area will become purplish and be tender to the touch. this is not the case with cupping. individuals that have been cupped will tell you that although the marks look like bruised, they do not feel like bruises, and they cannot feel them, and many times they forget the marks are there. with cupping, all the old debris that has been trapped in the tissue is released. in a typical massage, this debris gets dumped into your lymphatic system and filters out. because of the suction or negative pressure, the debris is pulled to just under the skin. these cupping marks are generally not sensitive to the touch as there was not blunt force. depending on how much debris was pulled up, it could take minutes to a week or two for your body to filter this debris out.