Some folks may remember seeing Micheal Phelps with dark purple circles all over his shoulders and back at the 2016 Olympics. Those were cupping marks.
Cupping has been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as 400 BC. It is a form of alternative therapy which originated in China. It is used for an array of purposes, including pain relief, inflammation, increased blood flow, relaxation, and overall well being. It is generally used in conjunction with deep tissue/sports massage, though it is also useful for decreasing anxiety, migraines, blood pressure, and cellulite.
There are several methods of cupping, the oldest of which is fire cupping. This can be a scary notion when considering whether or not to try cupping. Fire cupping utilizes glass cups and brief exposure to flame which creates suction when placed on the skin. A more modern approach (the method I use in my practice) uses hard plastic cups and a hand pump which is used to suck the air out after being placed on the area of concern. These are stationary for the most part and will remain for 5-15 minutes. They leave dark marks that can last up to several days or more. I also use silicone cups, which are a little less invasive. They are basically squishy, silicone suction cups which can be easily moved around. I find that they are very useful for increasing blood flow and range of motion.
Cupping with hand pump
On a personal note, I LOVE cupping! As a massage therapist, I get a massive amount of tension in my forearms, arms, back, neck and shoulders. I use cups on myself several times weekly to help loosen my muscles and increase range of motion, as well as skin toning and treating cellulite (not that I had any to begin with!). I notice a difference immediately. Cupping is a must in my overall self care regiment.
All services are dependent upon your personal massage goals, and may include cupping, hot stones, trigger point therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, and more. These services are all inclusive. As always, the massage your body needs is the massage you will get, at no added cost to you. If you have any questions, concerns, or if you would like to schedule an appointment feel free to call/text me at 608-576-1249, or email me at LavenderHourMassage@gmail.com
Thank you for reading!
Elizabeth Gengenbach, LMT