Like with most holistic forms of treatment, the concepts and the practice are very old, some dating back a 1000 years.  What changes in how they are applied and who’s using it. Cupping has come into the limelight due to many famous athletes and others showing off their “cup-kisses”.

There is recorded history of cupping being used in various forms in ancient Egypt, China and the middle-east. It was done mostly using hollowed out animal horns and ceramic cups. In modern cupping we use glass, plastic or silicone cups, these come in various sizes and qualities. The advantages of these are being able to sterilise and provide a more controlled treatment.

How it works

In ancient times and with the glass cups fire was used to create a vacuum and suction onto the skin. With the plastic cups, a suction gun is used to draw out the air from the cup, thus allowing for a lot more control as to how much suction is applied. With the silicone cups, you get a more gentle suction and these are more comfortable for the client when doing cupping massage.

There are essentially 2 types of cupping, dry and wet cupping. Wet cupping is when tiny shallow cuts are made on specific areas and the cups placed over that to release the blood containing the toxins. Dry cupping, on the other hand, draws those toxins to the surface but allows the body to process and release them on its own. Both are very beneficial. Cupping massage is an extension on dry cupping, oil or lotion is first applied to the skin and cups are applied, these are then moved across the body is a massage motion. The added benefit of this is that the toxins that are raised to the surface are then moved towards the lymph drainage system to aid the release of these.

When the dry cupping and wet cupping is done, it leaves the trademark “cup kiss” on the skin, visible from between 4 or 8 days.  The “Cup-kiss” is red to purple circular mark/bruise left on the skin where the toxins were present. These bruises are not painful at all, but it is advisable to stay out of direct sunlight or to apply cosmetics for a day or 2 after.

Benefits of cupping

  • The primary use for cupping is to release stressed, tight and tired muscles providing deem relaxation.
  • It enhances circulation
  • Part of a detox program to remove harmful toxins from the body
  • Returns a youthful appearance to the skin and it improves the elasticity of the skin and improves the circulation of oxygen and blood to the skin.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Also useful in treating chronic bronchial congestion and asthma

When not to do cupping

Do not do cupping:

  • If you have cancer
  • If you are on any anticoagulant treatment
  • If you suffer from haemophilia
  • On areas that are burnt or bad sun burn
  • On Infected areas or open wounds

More about cupping massage

Cupping massage provides the same if not better benefits on a deep tissue massage with pressure being applied to the muscles. Instead of pressing into the muscles, the cups pull up the skin and muscle, returning blood flow to stiff and sore muscles providing faster relief.

@ Healing Element

I provide dry cupping, cupping massage and facial cupping massage. Get in touch if you’d like to book an appointment.