Dry cupping is a gentle treatment that uses a silicon, plastic or glass cups that are placed on the skin with the use of suction. When the skin is sucked into the cup it begins to redden and darken, as blood is drawn to the surface of the skin. Usually the cups are left in place for a few minutes, or they will be moved around in a gliding motion over the skin.
The cups leave a pink/red/brown mark on the skin – which is a bit like a love bite – it isn’t a bruise, it is just the result of blood coming to the surface of the skin. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the marks left, the more tension there is in the underlying tissue. However, this is also affected by the area being worked on – areas with more fatty tissue tend to leave lighter marks.
The main benefits:
- Release tension in the fascia and muscle
- Relieve trigger points
- Reduce pain symptoms
- Encourage relaxation
- Improve blood flow to the skin
- Improve lymphatics
- Stretches connective tissue
- Allows healing to micro-trauma in the muscle
Cupping uses suction instead of pressure, which allows for less discomfort during treatment, so it can be used on particularly painful or tender areas. It also works to decrease tension more quickly than massage, and also reaches into the deep layers of muscle and fascia. Clients often describe it as scratching an itch that you cannot quite reach.