Types of Cupping
Stagnant Cupping is when a cup is placed over a specific acupressure point and left for a few seconds or minutes. This stimulates the Qi at that specific point to clear blockages or harmonize energy. This is often used to clear cold or flu, detoxify specific organs or to place a specific stretch on a muscle or knot. With stagnant cupping you will experience a gentle pulling sensation
Sliding Cupping is when oil or lotion is first applied to the area being treated and the cup is moved around to manipulate the tissue. This type of cupping releases the myofascial and muscle tissue increasing overall circulation and reducing the buildup of by products of inflammation and toxins in the tissue. Sliding cupping feels very similar to massage with the pressure varying depending on the amount of suction and how the cup is being manipulated. With sliding cupping you can often get the results of deep tissue massage with less discomfort and less time. Clients often report that the release from sliding cupping lasts longer and is faster than with regular therapeutic massage.
Areas Most Commonly Cupped
Cupping is most commonly used on the back because this is the most common area for pain and tension. The back is also the location of a series of acupressure points that connect to specific organs and can stimulate and harmonize the energy of those organs. Cupping can be done anywhere on the body suction can be achieved and works well for relieving pain and disorders of the shoulders, neck, hips and feet.
Cupping does commonly leave marks on the skin that vary in pattern and color and usually last from 3 days to one week. The marks may last even longer if the client is sedentary or has had a severe trauma to the area. The marks are often referred to as bruising because of how they look, however, the marks are simply dead static blood, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors and toxins that are being released from the tissue to the surface. Unlike a bruise, the marks are rarely sensitive to touch afterwards unless there are large amounts of toxin being released. By clearing this stagnation in the tissue it allows fresh oxygenated blood to nourish and heal the muscle and surrounding tissue. As the stagnation clears over a series of treatments the marks will lighten and eventually the cupping will leave little or no marking.