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Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. Read about Michelle Graves in Goop, a premiere weekly lifestyle online publication, curated by Gwyneth Paltrow. Massage Cupping™ bodywork therapy is an exciting modern adaptation of the ancient art of cupping therapy. Through several thousand years of clinical experience, the therapeutic applications of cupping have been documented. Cupping developed over time from the original use of hollowed animal horns to drain toxins out of snakebites and skin lesions. The Chinese expanded the utilization to include use in surgery to divert blood flow from the surgery site. Cupping can be used on the neck, shoulders , back, sacral , hip , abdomen , thighs , arms , calves, and even in some cases the forehead or the feet , according to the state .
Darker colors red and purpley indicate stagnation or surplus conditions in the client, and the treatment should be repeated with other treatments (eg , shiatsu , exercise therapy , changes in diet and lifestyle as required ) . Severe bruising that turns yellow or greenish is indicative of overtreatment – lower doses should be used. When Jennifer Aniston recently arrived on the red carpet of a film premiere, she set tongues wagging, and not just because she looked gorgeous. The welts were actually due to an ancient Chinese medicinal practice called “cupping,” in which heated cups are applied to the body in order to increase blood flow and promote healing.
Originally, practitioners would use hollowed-out animal horns for cups, and place them over particular points or meridians. In a typical cupping session, glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball or other flammable substance, which is soaked in alcohol, let, then placed inside the cup.
As the substance burns, the cup is turned upside-down so that the practitioner can place the cup over a specific area.
Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5 to 10 minutes.
In addition to the traditional form of cupping described above, which is known as “dry” cupping, some practitioners also use what is called “wet” or “air” cupping. In “air” cupping, instead of using a flame to heat the cup, the cup is applied to the skin, and a suction pump is attached to the rounded end of the jar.
While cupping is considered relatively safe (especially air cupping, which does not include the risk of fire and heat), it can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. Several articles on cupping have been published in peer-reviewed journals and acupuncture websites.
Another cupping technique commonly used in clinic is sliding cups, where one or two cups are applied to a well lubricated surface (usually the back or shoulders) and then slid over the area using slow rhythmic movements.  This is a very pleasant experience which is akin to a very deep and soothing massage. Cupping Therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin using glass cups. Cupping Therapy is a technique that uses glass or plastic suction cups to create a negative pressure , rather than tissue compression (used in traditional massage). The most common and unfortunate misconception concerning Cupping Therapy is the discolorations left on the skin.
One of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatment in human history is Cupping Therapy.
IMR, LLC is the only provider in Las Vegas in incorporate BOTH Cupping Therapy and therapeutic massage therapy in the same session. Completely safe and highly effective treatment for reducing pain, treating sprains and enhancing localized circulation.

Cupping therapy is one of the oldest natural healing therapies in the world, used by Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese.
Glass cups are heated from the inside with fire to create a vacuum and then placed on the painful area of the body.
Cupping may be applied to neck, shoulders, upper arms, back, sacral area, abdomen, hip, thigh and calves.
Bruising is caused by impact trauma with capillary breakage and a reactionary rush of fluids to the damaged location due to the tissue injury. In correctly performed suction cup therapy, the temporary cupping discoloration that results, also known as “sha,” is NOT painful or due to a compression injury. The suction resulting from negative pressure, improves circulation by bringing fresh, oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to replenish the tissues and accelerate the healing process. For massage cupping, the strong vacuum will mimic the rolling action of deep tissue massage without the discomfort. Pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, this allowing a deep relaxation to move through the entire body. Used for low back, shoulders and leg pain, gastrointestinal disorders- stomachaches, vomiting, diarrhea and lung disease- cough, asthma. If concerned about post cupping temporary discolorations, cupping therapy may not be for you.
Mild to moderate skin markings and discoloration may appear, depending on individual’s circulation, blood stagnation and toxic load. Sweating is a great after treatment follow up to help rid the body of the toxicity and debris released. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. Cupping is a subtle, yet powerful addition to any healthcare practice and complements many healing modalities. By creating suction and negative pressure, cupping is used to: drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, bring blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles and stimulate the peripheral nervous system. Cupping eventually developed into a separate therapy, with healers treating a variety of conditions. The effect of vacuum cups creates suction that softens the tissue and increases the flow of qi , blood and fluids. It’s similar to acupuncture, and is currently all the rage among stars like Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and AnnaLynne McCord. The earliest recorded use of cupping dates to the early fourth century, when the noted herbalist Ge Hong wrote about a form of cupping in A Handbook of Prescriptions. Today, most acupuncturists use cups made of thick glass or plastic, although bamboo, iron and pottery cups are still used in other countries.
The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass as the air inside the jar cools. Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain.
The massage therapist places the cup(s) on the back of the client and uses a suction pump to create the negative pressure which then draws the tissue up inside the cup. The discoloration is created by the negative pressure bringing toxins and lactic acid to the surface of the tissue. The indigenous tribes in Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands and Americans were among the first to use Cupping Therapy. If you are not sure which treatment you need, we are happy to give you a consultation to discuss your health concerns and needs. The vacuum created by the heat dispels dampness from the body, warms the qi and reduces swelling.

Although the discoloration may appear as a ‘bruise,’ it evolves through a different mechanism. Cupping intensifies the therapeutic aspects of current treatments and is a subtle, yet very powerful, addition to any spa or private practice.The cups are inexpensive, the therapy is fun and result-oriented, and the treatments create the perfect add-on to a service. Therapeutic applications evolved with the refinement of the cup itself, and with the cultures that employed cupping as a health care technique. Research papers were written in the 19th century, and a collaborative effort between the former Soviet Union and China confirmed the clinical efficacy of cupping therapy. By stimulating the skin and underlying muscles , it helps to release toxins specific to the region that have accumulated and promotes the circulation of blood and lymph vessels two .
However, if they occur, immediate medical treatment and do not leave the clinic until these effects have disapated . Later books written during the Tang and Qing dynasties described cupping in great detail; one textbook included an entire chapter on “fire jar qi,” a type of cupping that could alleviate headaches, dizziness and abdominal pain.
Glass cups are the preferred method of delivery, because they do not break as easily as pottery or deteriorate like bamboo, and they allow the acupuncturist to see the skin and evaluate the effects of treatment. Drawing up the skin is believed to open up the skin’s pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. Some practitioners will also apply small amounts of medicated oils or herbal oils to the skin just before the cupping procedure, which lets them move the cups up and down particular acupoints or meridians after they have been applied. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach (and, to a lesser extent, the arms and legs), are the preferred sites for treatment.
It is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation and is good for deep tissue repair. The cups are then left in place for 5-15 minutes or they can be slowly moved around the area being treated.
Traditional Chinese Medicine regards the appearance of sha as an indication that toxins and stagnation are being pulled to the surface of the body, restoring healthy Qi and blood flow below. Chinese medicine observes that cupping dispels stagnation of Blood and Chi, along with external pathogenic factors that invade a weakened constitution.
When the cup is applied and the skin is drawn up, a small amount of blood may flow from the puncture site, which are believed to help remove harmful substances and toxins from the body.
If the cups are being moved, they should not cross bony areas, such as the ridges of the spine or the shoulder blades. The action of this technique is used to release rigid soft tissue, break up lactic acid in the muscles, drain excess fluids and toxins, loosed adhesions, lift connective tissue, and bring increased blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles.  Some of the ways Cupping Therapy is used are for those with chronic deep muscle pains, injuries of all types, bad posture, digestive issues, fibromyalgia , asthma and pneumonia, cellulite, and high blood pressure.
The horn was placed on the treatment site of the body and the air was sucked out of the opposite end of the horn. Cupping is warming and promotes the free flow of Qi and blood in the meridians, dispelling cold dampness, diminishing swelling and pains.
Most people find the sensation of cupping to be relaxing, some say its like getting a deep tissue massage in 10 minutes. Contract, the tense and painful muscle tissue will soften quickly with a few minutes of suction cups. The resulting vacuum created drained toxins out of snakebites, infections and skin lesions, removing the blood, pus and poisons from the body.
The 20th century brought about a decline in interest as technology and machines came into use. New cupping sets were introduced using pumps to create the vacuum, and these sets were carried by medical supply companies well into the 1940′s.

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