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What Are the Benefits of Cupping Massage?

by |
author image James Mulcahy
James Mulcahy is a New York City-based licensed massage therapist with more than 1,500 hours of training in anatomy, myology and pathology. He currently works as a freelance writer and has contributed to Huffington Post, New York Press, British Airway’s High Life, Metromix and many other publications.
What Are the Benefits of Cupping Massage?
A woman lying face down on a massage table receives a cupping treatment. Photo Credit Keith Brofsky/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Overview

Cupping is a massage modality that finds its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. The practice uses glass cups to create a vacuum seal on areas of the body. The suction created by this seal brings blood to the surface of the skin and is thought to help expel negative energies from the body. Although cupping is not painful, the recipient commonly walks away with circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied.

Improved Energy Flow

In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping is used to improve the energy flow throughout the body. The bruises caused by the procedure are thought to be the negative energy elements coming to the surface and exiting the body. The cups can be placed over the traditional energy collection points, which are also stimulated during acupuncture and shiatsu massage. A healthy energy flow is thought to improve both the physical and mental well-being of the client.

Pain Relief

“Massage Magazine” reports that clients who received cupping sessions found that it relieved chronic pain and helped improve range of motion to injured areas. The clients who experienced this pain relief reported that the effects lasted longer than the pain relief associated with other massage modalities.

Loosen Muscles

Fribromyalgia-symptoms.org reports that cupping is an effective way to reduce the muscle stiffness associated with the disorder. Cupping loosens the muscles and brings an influx of blood to the area and softens the underlying muscle tissues, leading to increased flexibility and a better sense of mobility.

Relaxation

Like other massage modalities, cupping can be incredibly relaxing. The work is usually performed in soothing setting and the therapists touch is very light. The therapist might move the cups around the body, mirroring the strokes that you would receive during a standard relaxation massage. While the goal of the session is to target different areas of the body, a cupping treatment can improve your general sense of relaxation.

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