Aside from the six medals he won during the 2016 Olympic Games, the other topic no one could stop talking about was the circular marks on Michael Phelps’ back.
Those familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine could immediately identify the marks as the result of cupping. But for many in the mainstream, this was their first exposure to a healing therapy that’s been around for thousands of years.
Exactly what is cupping therapy? Where did it begin? Is there any science to back up the claims? And what can you expect if you choose to add cupping therapy to your next massage treatment?
We’ll discuss all that and more, so keep reading for your introduction to cupping.
Cupping 101: What Is Cupping Therapy?
Long before Michael Phelps swam his way to another gold medal, healers were using glass cups to treat their patients’ ailments.
Cupping is synonymous with Traditional Chinese Medicine, but its roots go back even farther to ancient Egypt and the Middle East. In fact, cupping was documented in an Egyptian medical textbook written in 1550BC. It was originally used to treat pneumonia and bronchitis, but its uses have evolved over time to treat general pain and inflammation
During a cupping session, your therapist will use small, round suction cups (glass or plastic) to apply suction to your skin. The cups remain in place for several minutes, increasing blood flow and lymph circulation through the area. This “negative pressure” is similar to the effect of a deep tissue massage and can be used on your back, shoulders, legs, or other areas of tension.
Like massage therapy, cupping promotes natural healing by encouraging blood flow and drawing toxins from the body. It also unblocks any stagnant energy (“qi”) that may be a hidden source of your pain. Any round marks left behind after the treatment are not only harmless but also proof that your body is detoxing!
What Does Science Say About Cupping?
Modern research on this ancient art has shown promising results. Various studies have found that cupping is beneficial for reducing pain and inflammation associated with:
- neck and back pain
- soft tissue injuries
- cancer pain
- carpal tunnel syndrome
Researchers admit they’re not entirely sure how or why cupping provides relief for so many ailments. However, it does appear that restoring the body’s balance while removing disease-causing factors boosts immune function and improves overall health.
Massage + Cupping = The Perfect Combination
Even if you only recently heard about cupping, rest assured that it’s an ancient healing practice that’s been around for thousands of years.
At Simply Massage, it’s easy to experience the benefits of cupping for yourself. All you have to do is add on “cupping treatment” when you book your next massage. When you arrive for your session, you’ll discuss your health with your therapist so they can deliver the best type of massage and cupping treatment for your needs.
If you’re not ready to commit yet, that’s okay too. Feel free to talk to the receptionist or your therapist when you arrive. They’ll gladly answer any questions you have (and you can always add on cupping therapy if you choose).
Give us a call at 970-748-1600 or use our online booking form to schedule your next appointment today!