Due to the nature of my work as an esthetician, I frequently experience back issues. I do my best to stay ahead of my back troubles by receiving regular massage therapy and chiropractic care. Recently, I was introduced to something different by my massage therapist…cupping. So what exactly is cupping you may ask? Well, cupping is an ancient practice wherein local suction is applied to the skin in order to increase blood flow and promote healing. Cupping’s roots date back as far as 3,000 B.C. and there is evidence to support its use in ancient Egypt, Greece, and China.
As you can see above, my massage therapist used silicone suction cups in order to increase circulation to my muscles; she left the cups in place for areas requiring greater attention. It was definitely a unique sensation. At first my skin felt a bit sore when my therapist ran the cups over an area (almost like the type of soreness that you feel after a major workout); however, as time went on the discomfort lessened and my muscles became more relaxed and less sore. Also, when a cup was concentrated on a particular area for a long time, I began to notice that my skin felt itchy; my therapist explained that this means that the blood is concentrating and the area is healing. The only downside is that I did have some bruising (see below).
(You will see me laughing here, because with the pose that I am in my therapist and I were joking that it looked like this photo was snapped in some sort of labor camp rather than following a massage treatment!)
The overall verdict? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Going forward, cupping will definitely be added to my back-health-maintenance arsenal! In fact, I have already had another treatment and I feel GREAT! Looking for a therapist in your area? Simply Google ‘Cupping Therapy’ + your home city to learn about local practitioners.