Cupping therapy is becoming more and more popular amongst celebrities, athletes and health & wellness therapists alike. With names like Michael Phelps, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston and Victoria Beckham turning to this ancient technique for a little bit of TLC!
As a holistic therapist, I like to build myself a toolkit - cupping is one of my tools. A beautiful, and extremely useful one too. These glass bowls can be used as a stand-alone treatment, especially for those who are less comfortable with needles, or in combination with Acupuncture. A gentler take on a deep tissue massage with just as many benefits, and more.
So what actually happens during a session of cupping treatment? Well, firstly the skin is prepared, I love to spend a few minutes warming and moisturising the treatment area with delightful smelling Coconut oil. In order for the cup to ‘stick’ to the body, a small vacuum is then created within the space of the cup which gently pulls the skin, muscle and surrounding tissue away from the body’s centre. The marks that Cupping is famous for, appear when the cups are left in place for more prolonged periods of time. Unless for a very specific reason, this is not the way I practice, preferring to move the cups smoothly over the body following the natural contours & landmarks to create fluidity and freedom beneath the skin’s surface.
The benefits are always individual to the person. However, it is recognised that Cupping helps to…
Increase blood flow and activate the lymphatic system
Reduce inflammation, including smoothing out areas where fluid retention has occurred
A natural option for pain relief
Combat stress and promote relaxation
…for back pain, shoulder problems, neck tightness, tension related headaches & migraines, leg injuries and much more.
There are benefits for me too. Touch, including through the cups is an incredibly important part of treatment, it helps me to connect with you on a deeper level, as well as learn even more about your body, things that we sometimes are unable to communicate verbally.
Whilst I use glass cups, material varies around the world from silicone to bamboo. Even earlier than this, animal horns were the popular tool of choice
Earliest record of cups being used was around 1500 BC in a medical textbook called Ebers Papyrus used by the Ancient Egyptians
It is sometimes suggested that Cupping is named so because cups from our kitchen cupboards would have been the most universal and easily accessible object in the house to perform this widely used treatment technique