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  • Writer's pictureMurray Kovesy

Unlocking Cupping Therapy's Healing Potential in Massage and Myotherapy Treatments

Updated: Mar 26

What is Cupping Therapy How Does Cupping Therapy Benefits of Incorporating Cupping in Massage and Myotherapy Uses of Cupping Therapy Cupping Therapy Safety What to Expect During Cupping Healing Potential of Cupping

Cupping therapy has become a hugely popular complementary treatment used by progressive Myotherapy and Massage practitioners. This ancient healing technique provides a wealth of therapeutic benefits – from alleviating pain and reducing inflammation to enhancing circulation and accelerating injury recovery.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about safely and effectively integrating cupping therapy into your Myotherapy and Massage treatments. Discover how this traditional technique can be harnessed to address a wide range of modern health and wellness goals.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping involves placing specialised cups on the skin to create suction that gently lifts the underlying tissues. As the vacuum draws the skin, fascia, and muscles up into the cup, this releases restrictions, stimulates blood flow, stretches tissues, and more.

There are several major “cupping methods” used in treatment sessions:

  • Dry Cupping – Uses suction alone to pull the skin into the cup. This method is ideal for reducing muscle tension, knots, and pain.

  • Fire Cupping – The cups are first heated with fire to create heat suction. This helps relax muscles and improve local circulation.

  • Wet Cupping – Combines suction with controlled medicinal bleeding. Small skin incisions allow toxins and excess fluids to drain.

Practitioners can select from a range of cupping tools and sizes based on the individual’s needs:

  • Cups – Bell-shaped cups made of materials like glass, bamboo, or medical grade silicone. Rounded edges provide comfort.

  • Sizes – Cups range from 1 to 4 inches wide. Larger cups treat fleshy areas like the back. Small cups are ideal for the face.

  • Shapes – Oval, round, and teardrop shaped cups optimise suction on different muscle contours.

  • Use – Cups can be stationary or moved around to cover a larger surface area.

The resulting suction gently decompresses tissues, releases fascial restrictions, stretches muscles, and boosts circulation to provide extensive therapeutic “cupping benefits”.

using cupping massage for muscle knots
using cupping massage for muscle knots

How Does Cupping Therapy Work?

Cupping utilises both negative pressure and the body’s innate healing response to suction to achieve its many benefits:

  • As the cup adheres to the skin, it lifts and opens the underlying soft tissue. This releases fascial adhesions, loosens tight connective tissue, and relieves muscle restrictions.

  • Stretching and decompressing the tissues enhances fluid drainage. More oxygenated blood circulates to the area to reduce inflammation, deliver nutrients, and ease pain.

  • The suction kickstarts the body’s natural healing and immune response. Blood flow increases to clear toxins, relax muscles, and activate cellular repair.

Though temporary cupping marks may appear on the skin’s surface as the tissue responds to the suction, this technique does not lead to bruising or lasting skin discoloration. The boosted blood flow actually promotes healing.

Benefits of Incorporating Cupping in Massage into Myotherapy

Integrating cupping techniques into Myotherapy and Massage treatments enhances the benefits:

  • Alleviates back pain, neck and shoulder tension, headaches, migraines

  • Loosens stiff, knotted, and overworked “muscles” throughout the body

  • Increases mobility and range of motion in joints and connective tissues

  • Lessens swelling and discomfort from injuries, strains, sprains or fractures

  • Expedites injury recovery by flooding damaged tissues with nutrient-rich blood

  • Improves circulation, lymph flow, and waste “drainage”

  • Eases stress, anxiety, allergies, sinus congestion, and digestive distress

  • Promotes deeper muscular relaxation and tension relief

  • Releases fascial restrictions that cause referred pain and tightness

Cupping therapy wonderfully complements other Myotherapy and Massage techniques like trigger point therapy, localised vibration, fascial stretching, and myofascial release.

It can treat stiff necks, tight shoulder and back muscles, sports “injuries”, tendinitis, fibromyalgia, and chronic myofascial pain. Cupping also warms up the tissues for deeper massage work.

cupping treatment
cupping treatment

Cutting-Edge Uses for Cupping Therapy

Beyond traditional uses, cupping therapy is gaining popularity for:

  • Accelerating workout recovery and enhancing athletic performance

  • Boosting immunity against seasonal colds, flus, infections, and allergies

  • Improving skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and “cellulite”

  • Reducing migraines, fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, and allergy symptoms

  • Easing constipation, IBS, bloating, cramping, nausea, and digestive issues

  • Promoting fertility, healthy hair growth, and improved respiratory function

  • Slowing aging, increasing collagen, and reducing inflammation

  • Relieving fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ pain, and sciatica

  • Enhancing overall wellbeing, vitality, skin health, and quality of life

With ongoing studies revealing exciting new benefits, cupping represents a time-tested therapy with modern applications. Discuss incorporating cupping into your customised Myotherapy and Massage treatment plan.

Cupping Therapy Protocols, Safety, and Precautions

While generally safe and non-invasive, cupping should only be performed by certified practitioners. Certain precautions apply:

  • Avoid cupping over ulcerations, wounds, blood clots, or fracture sites

  • Use care on those taking blood thinners or with bleeding disorders

  • Start with lighter suction and shorter duration for first-time clients

  • Hydrate well before and after treatment to flush out toxins

  • Expect some minor soreness or skin redness for up to 3 days post-treatment

When performed correctly by a trained therapist, cupping carries minimal risks. Stay well hydrated to help expel substances released through increased circulation.

What to Expect During a Cupping Therapy Session

A typical cupping therapy session may involve:

  • An intake and consultation about your health goals, medical history, pain points, etc.

  • Relaxing on the treatment table in a comfortable position that exposes the back or other areas to be cupped.

  • A warming heat pack or hot towels applied to enhance circulation to the tissues.

  • Light effleurage massage to prepare the muscles for cupping.

  • Application of the silicone or glass cups in a sequence along the back, neck, shoulders, legs, etc.

  • Gentle movement of the cups or a massage-glide technique between placements.

  • Up to 20 minutes of suctioning at intensities customized to your tolerance.

  • Closing lymphatic drainage massage.

Sessions may last 60-90 minutes including massage. Schedule follow-ups every 2-4 weeks based on your objectives. Be sure to communicate feedback to your therapist.

Experience the Healing Potential of Cupping

Adding cupping therapy to your next Myotherapy and Massage session allows you to tap into its powerful therapeutic benefits. Cupping enhances pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, circulation, injury recovery, stress relief and deep muscular relaxation.

Work with a certified Myotherapy and Massage practitioner skilled in proper cupping protocols to safely harness this ancient technique. Let cupping help you achieve new levels of healing, performance, and total body wellness!

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