The history of cupping is very wide and expansive. Various forms of cupping have been practiced in China for more than 3,000 years as one aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the West, Egyptians would use cupping therapy to aid in all sorts of illnesses and other various conditions. The Egyptians then passed the techniques of cupping onto the Greeks and Romans who then passed it onto Muslim Arabs and Persians. Since losing popularity in western medicine with the rise of the modern era, cupping is making a triumphant come back with the help of acupuncturists and holistic practitioners which as a result has grown into another variation of this wide spread modality, called Cupping Massage.
Cupping massage has become more popular, as most recently seen during the summer Olympics. The world was introduced to Michael Phelps and the American swim team sporting the well known circular bruises that result from dry cupping, but cupping therapy isn't just for Olympic athletes. Cupping provides relief from the flu, colds, back and muscle pains, poor circulation, and anxiety. Because it uses negative pressure, it is also a great tool for people who have suffered acute traumatic injuries to the body, and aren't able to take compressive pressure, or those who are in the middle of a spasm.
Cupping massage is different than dry cupping in that it is used in combination with oil or lotion so the cup can glide along muscles. At Active Living Chiropractic we have recently added this technique to our massage therapy and have found it to be very beneficial for our patients. The practitioner will apply an oil, lotion, or cream on the patient’s area of treatment before applying a suctioning cup onto the body. In this case less suction is applied than in dry cupping so that the cup is able to slide. With this technique we are able to soften up tight muscles, loosen adhesions, lift connective tissue, drain excess fluids and toxins, and bring hydration and blood flow to body’s tissues.
We are constantly striving for ways to grow and improve as a practice. By adding the cupping massage technique to our wide range of therapies, we are better able to meet the needs of our patients and promote the healing process in a different way.
-Irene Tetz LMT