10/18/2010

The Art of Massage Cupping

 An ancient technique has found its place in the modern world of healing. Massage cupping is a modified version of the common practice of cupping therapy, used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and the results that this simple treatment produces are impressive. Through suction and negative pressure, massage cupping releases rigid soft tissue; drain excess fluids and toxins; loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue; and bring blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles.

Cupping developed over time from the original use, by various indigenous peoples, of hollow animal horns to drain toxins out of snakebites and skin lesions. Horns evolved into bamboo cups, which were eventually replaced by glass. Therapeutic applications evolved with the refinement of the cup itself, and with the cultures that employed cupping as a health-care technique.
 
The Chinese expanded the use of this technique to surgery, to divert blood flow from the surgery site. Cupping eventually developed into a separate therapy under the TCM umbrella, with healers trained specifically in this technique. Other ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and early Greeks, embraced the therapeutic value of cupping. The technique eventually spread throughout Europe and later to the Americas.

With this rich history of medical application, how does cupping fit into current health practices? Massage cupping, or the use of glass cups, held by suction, to massage the body, can be added into almost any massage or bodywork session. The action on the nervous system is sedating, and clients will often experience a deep state of relaxation.
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