Cupping is a technique whereby a vacuum is created in a cup, drawing the skin up and separating the layers of superficial fascia. This allows space for freshly oxygenated blood to rush into the layers below, relieving adhesions and metabolic stagnation. The technique is applied anywhere from 10 seconds to 30 minutes, with varying degrees of intensity, depending on the condition. It is like the ways that deep tissue massage can be used to break up scar tissue and reduce pain. Cups are placed on the back, neck and shoulders or the site of pain. Cupping has a long-lasting affect on deep tissues, fascial restrictions, the movement of fluids, and in increasing ranges of motion. Cupping Massage can also have a strong sedative effect when the cups are left on for longer periods of time. Cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness, depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of internal stagnation. Ecchymosis (bruising) is a common side effect of cupping, but does not always occur. The bruising commonly lasts days to weeks.
Potential Side-effects of Cupping:
Cupping frequently causes marks on the skin. This is due bringing blood to the surface, similar to a bruise. For patients with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or those who are being treated with anticoagulants, cupping may not be the treatment option. People with these conditions should discuss treatment with their doctor before receiving cupping treatment.