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Cupping / Massage Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is a technique in which small glass cups, acrylic cups or bamboo jars are placed on the skin and used as suction devices. The practice dates from as early as 3000 BC. The earliest record of cupping is in the Eyebrows Papyrus, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, which describes the technique in 1550 BC. Other evidence shows the Egyptians using cupping, as well as Chinese practitioners using the therapy since 1000 BC. A recent study from 2012 confirms the use of cupping for several maladies to date.
Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available and can affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages cleared, and veins and arteries refreshed within these four inches of affected materials.
What Conditions Does Cupping Therapy Address?
By mobilizing blood flow, the cupping technique is believed to promote healing and relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and more. Even hands, wrists, legs and ankles can be ‘cupped,' thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system.
What Can I Expect from a Session?
Historically, practitioners have created suction in the cups in one of several ways, such as rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin. Suction can also be created by placing an inverted cup over a small flame, or by using an alcohol-soaked cotton pad over an insulating material (like leather) to protect the skin, then lighting the pad and placing an empty cup over the flame to extinguish it. Flames are never used near the skin and are not lit throughout the process of cupping. The flame is a means by which to create the heat that causes the suction to occur within the small cups. At Sauganash Wellness, we use the suction cupping method, not the fire cupping method.
They may be used singly or with many to cover a larger area. They may be used by themselves or placed over an acupuncture needle.
Once the suction has happened, cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as "gliding cupping” or "massage cupping"). The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage — rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation.
To schedule a Cupping Therapy session in our Chicago office — or to add this treatment to your session at Sauganash Wellness Center, please call 773-283-4470.
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