Therapeutic Cupping is Popular with Olympic Athletes. LMT's can learn to offer this service to their clients.
Most Americans have see images of Olympic athletes such as Michael Phelps with the round marks from something called "cupping". Due to these athletes and the media explosion of cupping there are many people interested in learning about what cupping therapy has to offer. HAC has invited Michael Max, a local expert on cupping, Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, to provide us with some answers to common questions about therapeutic cupping.
How does cupping work?
Cupping employs the localized use of negative pressure (vacuum) to reverse the centripetal pull of gravity. Simply stated, it uses gentle, controlled suction to open up muscle tissue and vastly increase local circulation of blood and fluids. Think of it as a Dyson vacuum for the muscles and bones. It sucks the dust bunnies, cracker crumbs, abandoned cellular debris and forgotten emotional carry-on baggage that have squirreled themselves away between your bones, muscles and fascia.
What does it do?
This negative pressure improves blood and fluid circulation, mobilizes muscle and sinew flexibility, irons out crumpled and contracted fascia, gives breathing room to adhesions, helps to vanish scars, dredges the lymphatic system, improves skin tone, breaks up cellulite, promotes relaxation and leaves you wondering “why haven’t I done this sooner?”
What does cupping treat?
Cupping works magic on tight shoulders, sore backs, achy muscles, coughs, constipation, neck pain, headaches, sciatica and hitches in your get-along. In general cupping provides that “ah, yes” sense of relaxation as tensions evaporate from your tissues and you remember what life feels like without the compound accumulated tensions of day-to-day life.
What is the deal with those big purple hickeys?
First of all, contrary to popular belief they are NOT bruises. These “purple marks” as they are called in Chinese are the expression of internal stagnation and congestion brought to the surface of the body. They do not appear on everyone, only those with a significant amount of congestion, poor blood flow and lymph drainage. Those who are relatively healthy will not express with these “crop circles”, while those with severe muscle tightness, headaches, painful periods and various kinds of musculoskeletal pain will often, and with incredible speed, show with purple-black marks. These marks are both therapeutic (as they bring the stagnation out of the tissues and to the surface, where it can resolve), and diagnostic (the amount and nature of the discoloration gives an insight into the patient’s condition).
Traditional cupping, as generally employed in China, where cups are placed and then left to sit for 5-15 minutes tend to result in more of a polka-dot display, while the “oily sliding cup”method tends to leave fewer marks, has the added benefit of treating a wider area, and tends to cause the eyes to roll back in delight.Generally speaking, the more one has the stagnation pulled to the surface, the less they will express with the spotted evidence of having been cupped.
Does it hurt?
While there can be moments of discomfort if the muscles are frozen tight, or if the vacuum is too strong, in general the sensation of cupping is quite pleasant. Much like massage, there are those who like a light touch and those who prefer the practitioner dig in with a hammer and tongs. Rest assured, the cups can be adjusted to your level of comfort. By and large the response to cupping is “oohhh, aahhhh.”
Can I get massage or acupuncture on the same day?
Yes, cupping can be combined with both acupuncture and massage. Or served up by itself to vacuum those accumulated tensions out of your muscles and connective tissue.
Saturday, October 15 9am - 5pm
Sunday, October 16 9am - 2pm
Instructor: Michael Max
HAC Students & Grads: $525
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