3 Ways Cupping Can Make A Good Massage Great

You're probably familiar with the therapeutic benefits of deep tissue massage and how it loosens knots, increases range of motion, and reduces pain and inflammation. However, over a decade of experience as a massage therapist has taught me that when cupping is added to a massage session, I'm able to get even faster results with less pain for my clients.

Cupping itself had been around for thousands of years and involves suction, also known as negative pressure. It has developed over time from the original use of hollowed out animal horns to suck out and drain toxins out of snakebites and skin lesions, with horns being replaced by bamboo cups, which eventually evolved into glass, plastic and now silicone.

The cups literally become an extension of my hands, allowing me to decompress and create negative pressure which seamlessly lifts and releases muscle adhesions.

Here, three ways cupping can make a good massage become a great massage:

1. It's relaxing.

Cupping along the spine stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to produce a relaxing and sedating effect on the recipient (it's not uncommon for them to fall asleep!). Toxic feelings of anxiety and stress are lifted up and away.

2. It reduces pain.

Until recently, there was scant published evidence in favor of cupping for pain relief. Over the past three years, several new studies have shown it helps relieve back, neck, carpal tunnel and knee pain.

There are numerous theories on how cupping helps to relieve pain. It's widely believed that the suction on the skin increases blood flow to the area, resulting in a mild immune response. It's also thought that cupping helps to release fascia, which can pull on muscles causing pain or limited motion.

3. It produces fast results.

Achieving profound therapeutic results such as these simply isn't possible with hands alone. It's said that 5 minutes of cupping is equivalent to 30 minutes of a deep tissue massage. I'm able to achieve immediate results, bringing a pain scale of nine down to around one or two in a matter of minutes.

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