Cupping is almost the opposite of massage, rather than pushing down on the muscles, it uses pressure to gently pull them upward. For most patients, this is a very relaxing sensation. Cupping uses small glass cups as suction devices placed on the skin. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient lies still. It is part of ancient Chinese medicine, going back thousands of years.
The suction provided by cupping loosens muscles, encourages blood flow, and sedates the nervous system. Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians. There are five meridian lines on the back, and these are where the cups are usually placed. Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of influenced areas. This treatment is also valuable for the lungs, and can clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person’s asthma.