Incorporate Cupping Therapy Into Your Massage!
As anyone who had ever had a massage can tell you, even a basic massage has amazing benefits! For some individuals, a Relaxation Massage or a Swedish Massage may be just what they need to work out minor “knots”, reduce stress, and promote an overall feeling of well-being. However, individuals who are dealing with specific issues such as a nagging injury or persistent muscle fatigue, for instance, may need a more targeted and more intensive massage therapy, such as Deep Tissue Massage or Sports Massage Therapy.
Quite recently, experienced and licensed massage therapists are turning to an ancient massage technique—Cupping Therapy—to enhance and augment the benefits of Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, and other targeted massage techniques. Like manual massage, Cupping stimulates “trigger points” within skeletomuscular structures and myofascial tissues (the fascia, or tough membranes that connect and support the muscles). However, Cupping stimulates these trigger points in the opposite way: instead of pushing on the trigger points with positive pressure, Cupping pulls on them with negative pressure. Thus, when performed together, Cupping and massage therapy present a powerful and highly effective method of addressing pain, injury, muscle soreness, tightness, and inflexibility.
How Does Cupping Therapy Work?
Cupping Therapy addresses areas of pain, discomfort, soreness, tightness, and inelasticity deep within the muscles and fascia (connective tissue) by increasing and improving blood flow to the target area. It does this by literally pulling on the tissues, expanding the blood vessels under the skin, and allowing fresh oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to rush into the affected tissues. By enhancing improved circulation, Cupping Therapy reduces inflammation, helps eliminate toxins, and stimulates self-healing and regeneration.
The negative pressure at the root of Cupping is created with the use of small glass or silicone cups placed on the skin over the target area. Traditionally, each cup was heated by holding an alcohol swab or wool cotton ball inside the cup (with tweezers) and burning it. The heated cup is then placed on the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, a vacuum is formed, pulling the skin up into the cup. While this traditional method is still used by some licensed massage therapists, others feel more comfortable utilizing a basic hand-pump to create the vacuum after the cup is placed on the skin. Once the vacuum has pulled the skin up into the cup, it is left in place for several minutes.
How Does Cupping Improve Massage Therapy?
Cupping Therapy can be utilized as a stand-alone technique; however, many people find it most effective when combined with a targeted form of massage therapy. The addition of the negative pressure created by cupping offers a powerful counter-stimulant to the positive pressure created by the massage therapist’s manual manipulation. When performed together, these two complementary techniques offer benefits such as:
- Injury prevention and improved healing times
- Decrease in recovery times between workouts
- Increase in flexibility, elasticity, and range of motion
- Reduction in blood pressure and heart rate
- Relief from muscle pain, discomfort, and soreness
In addition, Cupping Therapy can make the massage itself more effective in several important ways. First, because Cupping increases blood flow to the target area, it essentially “warms up” the skin, muscle, and fascia, making it easier for the massage therapist to identify and work out so-called “knots” in the muscle. Second, the discoloration of the skin as it pulls up into the cup can help the therapist differentiate between healthy tissue and problematic areas, pinpointing exactly where the massage can have the most impact. And third, because cupping is actually less intensive than massage, incorporating it into the massage can enable the massage therapist to prolong the massage treatment for greater impact.
So next time you schedule a massage, considering requesting a Cupping Therapy treatment as well. Whether as a regular therapeutic treatment or to enhance your relaxation and well-being, Cupping Therapy is a safe, comfortable, and highly way to augment your massage experience!
At the Tampa Massage Clinic, located in Tampa, Florida, nothing is more important than human touch. To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Advanced Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, Jakki Bosco LMT, please call (813) 298-5603.
Serving patients in and around greater Tampa Bay, Town N Country, Clearwater, St. Pete, Carrollwood, East Lake, Westchase, Land O Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, University of South Florida, Brandon, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Dundin, Hillsborough County, and Pasco County Florida.