Basics of Cupping

Basics of Cupping

BASICS of CUPPING

  • Cupping is becoming very popular in North America for Professionals and Home Users.  Most mis-understandings about cupping and the different use of cups comes from lack of information, so please take the time to read these basics as it will help you with your cupping experience
  • There is Chinese Cupping and Massage Cupping.  Chinese cupping is an ancient art form and one must know acupuncture/acupressure points and an understanding of QI and Meridians to perform Chinese Cupping  correctly. We have a Chinese Medicine Practitioner who is putting together a simplistic guide and will be posted as soon as it is finished. Massage Cupping is based on Allopathic or Western Medicine principles meaning focus is on skin, muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, collagen and lymph.

VERY IMPORTANT!!

The three most Misunderstandings 

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product nor it's instructions or information are intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any illness, metabolic disorder, disease of health problems. If ever in doubt, always check with your physician.

  • WHAT NOT TO DO: Start with the largest cup with the most suction.  Cupping is a process of softening the tissue under the skin ie: muscles, fascia, lymph, and the layers of skin.  Start with the smaller cups with light suction and increase suction as glide improves, then increase by one cup size and adjust the suction with that cup. When that cup and suction glides easily, then move up to the larger cup.  Starting with the largest cup first will most likely leave you not liking cupping.
  • WHAT NOT TO DO: USE SUPER STRONG SUCTION AND ROUGH TOUCH MOVEMENTS WITH GLIDING.  This will be uncomfortable, you could damage some internal tissue and it can make you really sore afterwards. The negative pressure with cupping is so affective, there is no need to muscle the cups.  Actually, suction applied for 3-5 minutes in one spot with no moving can perform many reactions in the body and tissue. Cupping can be a delicate treatment and still be affective.
  • I GET BRUISES WHEN I DO CUPPING: Cupping patients will be the first to tell you.  It is not a bruise.   "It looks like a bruise but it doesn't feel like a bruise:.  Cupping marks as we call them "Cupping Kisses" are the physical outcome of pathogens, toxins, blockages and impurities (waste products) that are an undesirable presence in the body released from the tissues.
  • Per Chinese Medicine: Cupping marks that display a fresh red colour indicate a recent traumatic injury with accompanying heat. n Black, deep purple or deep blue indicates blood stagnation
  • Per Chinese Medicine: Black, deep purple or deep blue indicates blood stagnation (Pic 1). It occurs when an injury or illness (including strong coldness inducing blood stasis) has resided in the body for a long time. A robust exogenous pathogenic agent such as the combination of wind with cold can also quickly manifest as a dark mark. It is telling that many massage therapists who receive cupping for the first time to the margins between the three deltoid heads frequently display dark marks. This indicates that the shoulder girdle has become congested due to over-use. It is recommended that MTs get cupping to these spaces on a monthly basis to keep the region in good order.
  • Per Chinese Medicine: A light pink or pale blue mark indicates mild coldness.
  • Per Chinese Medicine: A pale or white mark that fades quickly indicates a lack of energy and function
  • Per Chinese Medicine: A mottled presentation comprising crimson (or red) and white or lighter elements represents the condition where deficient body energy (whiteness) impedes the blood circulation (redness).
  • Per Chinese Medicine: A pale or white mark that fades quickly indicates a lack of energy and function
  • Per Chinese Medicine: Red dotting indicates the presence of a heat toxin due to blockage causing pent-up heat, which the Chinese call sha (Bentley, 2011). These small bright-red dots also commonly result from sliding cupping, which due to its constant state of motion tends to draw from more superficial levels compared to stationary cups, which draw from the full entitlement of depth possible. Even when slowly sliding silicone-cupping vessels to rectify the fascia using the modern cupping technique, the innate mechanism of drawing outwards will It is telling that many massage therapists who receive cupping for the first time to the margins between the three deltoid heads frequently display dark marks. ” Vol: 12-2 feature 18 sometimes inevitably cause certain factors lying within the underlying tissue to emerge at the surface. Sha made apparent by cupping typically resolves in a short period of time.

Six reasons why a cupping mark is not a bruise The list below is a brief summary of some of the critical differences between a cupping mark and a bruise. By Bruce Bentley

On many occasions cupping produces no marking, even when a robust volume of negative pressure (vacuum) is within the cup, because pathogens and other unwanted factors are not there to be drawn to the surface

By definition, a bruise occurs “as a result of a blow that does not break the skin” (Lackie, 2010), or otherwise, “bleeding in soft tissue resulting from a direct blow with a blunt instrument” (Kent, 2007). The lifting suction effect of a cupping vessel on the skin stands in stark contrast to the inward sinking dynamic of a blow to the surface. Furthermore, there is no trauma caused by the solid rim of a cup

“A bruise changes colour, first to blue as a red pigment of haemoglobin loses its oxygen, and then to brown or yellow as the haemoglobin is broken down and reabsorbed”(Kent, 2007). This description of a bruise’s colour changes does not apply to the fading and resolution of a cupping mark. The fading of a cupping mark is a progressive lessening of the original hue Vol: 12-2 feature 20 without any different colour transitions.

“A bruise changes colour, first to blue as a red pigment of haemoglobin loses its oxygen, and then to brown or yellow as the haemoglobin is broken down and reabsorbed”(Kent, 2007). This description of a bruise’s colour changes does not apply to the fading and resolution of a cupping mark. The fading of a cupping mark is a progressive lessening of the original hue Vol: 12-2 feature 20 without any different colour transitions.

When we have a bruise, experience tells us that it is tender to touch (due to trauma). After cupping there is no such accompanying tenderness. Note: Only following over zealous and aggressive cupping can a bruise-associated yellow stain be produced, together with tenderness within and beyond the periphery of a cupping mark. Such a sign represents poor practice

Imagine a cup has been applied and produces a strong dark mark. After that has resolved and another cup is reapplied on the identical location, with the same suction level and for the same duration, the marking is typically only about half as ‘ferocious’ as the first time. By the third session, chances are the response will only be a faint showing. Usually by the fourth treatment no marking occurs. This is clearly a case of an internal pathogen or toxin being systematically resolved. This scenario would be the opposite if it were a bruise. The capillary damage incurred by a trauma to produce a bruise would increase with repeated assaults. The following is a further illustration. Picture two round cupping marks side by side, with a gap of 2-3 cm between each at the closest point. When they have faded to half their original form, apply a single cup over that gap with the same level of suction. Strong marking will be produced only in the previously un-cupped space between them. The hue formed in the margins of the former cups will a considerably lesser shade. This clearly indicates that the pathogen has been resolved to a significant extent within the range of the first two cups, compared to the “in-between” tissue that was unaffected by the first application.

A bruise can be successfully cleared using cupping. Healing a large bruise for example, can be accelerated by applying a soft to moderate strength cup to the centre of the bruise and sliding it outwards beyond the bruise’s perimeter. Complete the treatment by repeating the above along successive margins as if following the spokes of an imaginary wheel. A bruise is after all a form of blood stagnation and cupping is excellent at dispersing blood stagnation.

  • The Basic Principle is to understand the skin, fascia and muscle textures.  Cupping Warehouse was created by a Nurse/Massage Therapist that had converted her entire practice to massage cupping and discovered there are some traits that were seen over and over again.   The first place to start is to access the skin and tissue underneath.
  • Loose Skin:  This is skin that you can pinch and pull away from the body easily with no discomfort for you, if your skin or for the patient, if it is a patient.  Next, assess: is the skin moist and plump or dry and dehydrated feeling?  It is important to ascertain as these two skin types are completely different.  Patients with Moist Skin have typically been discovered to not have as many fascial adhesions and prefer massage to massage cupping.  These skin types will typically enjoy facial cupping and cellulite cupping, but typically prefer massage for relaxation and minimal pain relief.  If a client has dry, loose skin, you will notice the cups typically don't want to hold on no matter what style you are using, so in these individuals, you would want to apply oil or cream, create a suction with a smaller cup and glide over the area. This gliding should increase collagen production in this area adding to some plumping and lifting in this area.  Cupping also helps with circulation and if there is solidified lymph or solidified fascia, then the moisture and nutrients many not be entering the cells well and this should assist.
  • Many people turn to cupping because other traditional methods have not been affective for them.  Whether for stubborn pain, fascial adhesions or restrictions, inflammation, cellulite, wrinkles, edema or swelling , cupping can be the missing link although not a cure. This is the exact reason why Cupping Warehouse was created. After an entire practice switched to cupping due to the long lasting result of the patients, and amazing improvements to loved ones and family members, there were other commonalities that we discovered.
  • Thick Skin.  If you try to pinch up the skin and realize that you would have to dig in and probably hurt the person to get the skin to pull up, you will know this is a prime candidate for cupping.  Why do these people always experience pain even after a deep tissue massage?  For several reasons. It's hard to go into this topic without  more detail than most people are interested in, and others frustrated because this is the info they have been searching for, so to keep it simple we will mention topics for you to research online.  Estrogen Dominance in Women and Men, Hormone Imbalances, Hormones in our Meat and what exactly is in the GMO food that we hear is so bad for us and what it does to our bodies.  It could also be from Hypertension, Cardiac Heart Failure, Inflammation, Muscle Spasms, facial Adhesions and Restrictions, Repetitive Strain and Injury and so much more.  So what we have discovered through cupping is that if this skin is taught like this, no matter what the cause, it is not good and only creates more issues later. When the fluids in the lymph and fascia harden or solidify, it crushes muscles, nerves, blood supply and all this moisture between the structures also hardens and solidifies and creates more pain and more tension. It has been Scientifically proven that a fascial adhesion (including the liquid substance around it) can create up to 2000lbs of pressure.  No wonder we feel pain.  
  • So here is what you may find when you try to cup this type of tight tissue for the first time. Sometimes this tissue is so tight and hard that the suction in the cup hurts more than the person can stand.  This is an indication that you will have to start with lighter suction until this tissue softens and you will increase the suction as it can be tolerated. Typically in this situation, with frequent use, the tissue will become softer and more moist and become easier to work with as well as begin to feel better. Also, with this tight tissue, many times it is difficult to glide and slide no matter how much oil or lotion you apply to the skin or will pop off easily.  REMEMBER THIS ALWAYS!!!!  When the tissue is soft, you can glide almost any safe area on the body and there is no discomfort.  If this tissue is tough, solid, hard, stiff, then you will need to start with smaller cups and lighter suction and continue with these until the tissue begins to soften, then upgrade to more suction.  When the added suction is tolerated well , then it's time to move up to a larger cup and you may have to go to lighter suction again.  As the tissue becomes even more softer and tolerates this suction with this larger cup better, then it is time to increase the suction. Before you know it, you will be able to use the largest cup with heavy suction and smile as you notice how different you skin and tissue is since starting cupping.  When the tissue softens and the lymph and fascia fluids liquify, you will be so pleased with the results.