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A Little Negative Pressure Can Yield Very Positive Results

Cupping is a wonderful, ancient healing technique that uses suction to create negative pressure. Cupping dates back as early as 28 AD and continues to be used today to dispel the stagnation of blood and chi. The Egyptians produced a text on ancient medicine that discussed cupping for accelerating the healing of disease.

Today, cupping is utilized as an exceedingly valuable and safe modality for countless health and beauty therapies.

Massage cupping is:

  • NOT an irritant to the skin or body.
  • Profoundly relaxing, with results that last long after the treatment has ended.

Mechanically, medical massage cupping, or Vacutherapy, works by suction and negative pressure to lift soft tissue. Similar to the old glass “fire cups,” today’s massage cupping also uses a partial “vacuum” to loosen and release muscles and draw out toxins. But unlike fire cupping, massage cupping rarely leaves dark purple marks, and doesn’t use an open flame to create a vacuum. At OHA, we use silicone cups with a manual pump to gently create vacuum pressure.

At very light pressure levels, this modality is an effective way to assist lymphatic drainage, even in the delicate facial tissues. At higher pressure levels, massage cupping can be even more effective than the manual rolling action of deep-tissue massage, usually without the pain or discomfort.

Massage cupping movements are skillfully applied as long strokes for draining fluids, circular motions for reducing knots and areas of rigid tissue, or held static in areas of trigger points. Medical massage cupping loosens adhesions, lifts connective tissues, and brings blood flow to isolated, stagnant, and congested areas of skin and muscles. This increase in blood flow and stimulation to the lymph vessels, fascia, blood vessels and soft tissue helps to relieve dysfunction, injury and pain.

Additional benefits of massage cupping include:

  • Decrease of pain messages to the brain.
  • Increase of serotonin and dopamine – the “feel good” hormones
  • Increase of blood oxygenation and lymph flow to aid removal of metabolic by-products and toxins.
  • Reduction in inflammation, adhesions and trigger points/muscle knots.
  • Increased synovial fluids for freer joint movement.
  • Relief from fatigue, fibromyalgia and neuralgia.
  • Nervous system sedation for reduction of anxiety.
  • Body contouring and cellulite reduction.
  • Increased nourishment to the skin.
  • Increased suppleness and flexibility of muscle tissue.
  • Lifting and toning of facial muscles.
  • Reduction of scar tissue.
  • Stimulation of digestive system including aiding in clearing colon congestion.
  • Improved ability to absorb analgesics, essential oil blends, liniments and other products.

Cupping is available by professionally trained Licensed Massage Therapists or Acupuncturists. Look for those who are accredited, licensed and certified in the practice.

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