Cupping therapy is an alternative modality which dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. During myofascial dry cupping, cups are placed over several areas. This creates a vacuum which lifts the soft tissue and creates an upward stretch. In doing so, blood flow is increased to the area and a stretch effect is induced which results in reduced muscle tension and associated pain.
The application of cupping therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as:
- muscle pain and tension
- reduced joint movement
- back pain and sciatica
- stress and anxiety
The cups can either be left in a static position or they can be glided over the area to provide a deep tissue massage effect. Myofascial dry cupping works well in conjunction with sports and deep tissue massage as the upward stretch effect from the cups works synergistically with the downward pressure of manual massage.
From a Therapist's point of view:
Including cupping therapy within a treatment can reduce the pressure placed on my hands and wrists and allows me to utilise my time more efficiently. For instance, cups can be placed in one area to pre-reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow whilst a second area is treated with manual massage techniques. The cups can then be moved to another area and manual massage can be applied to the pre-cupped region.