THE ART OF CUPPING
The ancient art of cupping is deeply relaxing, therapeutic and restorative. Releasing the upper muscle layers relieves tension, improves blood circulation and calms the nervous system. Suction is used to create a ʻnegative pressureʼ release by lifting the skin and fascia away from the skeleton. Through the use of heat, compressed silicone cups or rubber bulb aspirators, a vacuum is created that stretches the skin into the cup. This ʻnegative pressureʼ release is the opposite of manual therapies such as massage that involve the compression of tissue. A suction release facilitates lymphatic drainage, increases blood flow to the surface of the skin and engages the parasympathetic nervous system.
After a cupping treatment if blood stagnation is present the skin may have a redness from broken petechiae at the cupping site. If no blood stagnation is found the effect will be only a slight pink blush on the surface of the skin. Any red marks that may result from cupping will resolve within a few days.
Heavy Glass Cups that come in a variety of sizes are the most traditional because the heat and the weight of the glass facilitate the process of cupping. Fire cups are always indicated for complaints of cold or deep tension especially in upper, middle or lower back.
Massage or moving cupping is done with silicone cups which allow for varying the amount of suction in each cup and for ease of movement. Cupping on the abdomen for constipation as well the upper back for coughs and respiratory conditions is highly effective.
A specially designed glass cup with a blue rubber bulb aspirator is used for cupping facials. Treatment involves a quick suction and release over the chin, cheek and forehead areas. In addition to the cosmetic benefit, facial cupping is very effective for relieving Headaches, Sinus Problems, Bell's Palsy, Trigeminal Neuralgia and TMJ.
Heavenly (San Fu) Moxibustion