Cupping is used to release Qi and blood stasis from the meridians and surrounding tissue. If done properly, cupping can be an invigorating deep tissue massage and often, the benefits last longer than a standard massage session. The technique is performed by a therapist, who creates suction with glass cups. Muscle tissue is then inverted and pulled upwards due to the suction. The cups can be placed stationary or can be glided throughout the treatment lasting 5-10 minutes. Once cupping is finished, there will be varying degree of color over the tissues ranging from pink red, to red, purple, and dark purple. The darker color indicates less oxygen flow within the tissue causing stagnation of blood. Depending on the severity of the tissue, duration of discoloration can range from 3-10 days. Once the color has disappeared, the tissue can then be cupped again. You will notice a decrease in discoloration after multiple sessions.
Are the cupping marks same as bruising?
Bruising is caused by impact trauma, resulting in the breakage of capillaries and a reactionary rush of fluids to the damaged location. Correctly applied cupping does not compress the tissues.
The discoloration seen after a cupping session indicates the restoration of blood flow to the tissue that was previously experiencing sluggish blood circulation. It is a local build-up of your body’s waste products, such as dead, static blood, lymph, cellular debris, and toxins.
View LES Acupuncture & Bodywork demonstrating cupping on Buzzfeed
Benefits of cupping
The release of toxins such as calcium deposits and cellular debris.
Veins, arteries, and capillaries are cleared out.
Increased blood circulation.
Reduced pain and softened muscle tissue.
The release of adhesion, increasing flexibility.
Relief of congestion of mucus from respiratory conditions.