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What is Cupping?

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Cupping is an ancient form of manual therapy aimed at reducing myofascial tension and associated pain in the body. Fascia is connective tissue which provides a structural framework for our body. It attaches to each and every muscle, offering the musculoskeletal system protection and separation from our internal organs. Due to chronic overuse or stress, fascia can become restricted, painful and limit the range of motion occurring in surrounding joints and tissues. Cupping is a myofascial technique which aims to reduce fascial tension to an area by lifting and separating the tissue, encouraging microcirculation, tissue detoxification and subsequent relief of painful muscle tension.

How is cupping performed?

There is numerous ways cupping can be achieved at Body Align Myotherapy & Massage we use small plastic cups and a manual vacuum pump to slightly draw up the superficial layer of skin, creating a negative pressure which lifts and separates the soft tissue. With the help of massage cream, the cups can then be moved along or around the affected fascia, helping to passively lengthen the tissue and work through taut bands of restricted muscle.

What are the benefits of cupping?

Cupping enables blood flow and hydration to a restricted area of fascia and soft tissue by promoting blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. The increased circulation of blood to the cupped area helps breakdown and eliminate toxins and waste from the body. Due to the breakdown of cellular waste and restricted tissue, capillary and skin cell repair is generated, leading to improved microcirculation and movement in the tissue.

Is cupping safe?

Cupping is a very safe technique. Whilst the breakdown of superficial tissue can sometimes leave a discolouration on the skin – this may appear as pink to purple bruising on the skin – this typically fades after 24 hours. Our therapists always try to avoid this by adjusting the appropriate suction to the cups and not leaving them in one place for too long, however, sometimes slight bruising is unavoidable. Please don’t be alarmed if you do experience slight bruising – the marks are only temporary and will begin to fade after 24 hours.


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