What is cupping (aka suction cup) massage therapy?
Cupping Therapy uses glass, plastic, or silicone cups to vacuum layers of connective tissue apart and encourage lymph and blood circulation.
What are the benefits / advantages of cupping therapy?
Cupping massage therapy creates negative pressure which helps separate layers of connective tissue that get stuck together. Cupping can also help to open lymphatic channels and promote cardiovascular circulation.
When areas of the body are underused or when there is pressure from underlying structures such as bulky muscle, the tissue layers tend to structurally connect. This can lead to discomfort and reduced mobility. By lifting and separating, vacuum (cupping) therapy can help the layers move more smoothly over one another so you feel more mobile and comfortable in your body. Cups are also a great way to warm up your tissues before a Swedish/Deep Tissue treatment.
Cupping also encourages healthy circulation. Moving cups help to open your lymph channels in the direction of your lymph nodes so your body can process and eliminate undesirable substances. They also help move blood back towards your heart, and so they give your cardiovascular system a helping hand.
What are Cupping therapy risks and side effects?
Risks of cupping can include redness, bruising, and increased blood pressure, so it is important to get treatment from a trained professional. A skilled RMT who has proper training in the practice of Cupping will know the right questions to ask before applying treatment, will properly inform you of risks based on your health history, and will also know how to reduce the risk of side effects.
How do I know if I should not have cupping therapy?
Cupping therapy is contraindicated (dangerous and should not be used):
Over an area with current or history of Deep Vein Thrombosis – in this case, cups can be gently used elsewhere on the body;
Over an area with varicose veins;
Directly over an area of acute injury such as damaged tissue, bruises, cuts, scrapes, strains, sprains, or fractures;
While you are taking medications or certain mixes of medications (consult your doctor or pharmacist).
Please feel free to reach out by email, text, phone call if you have questions.
It is important to receive cupping from a trained professional, such as an RMT/Chiro/Physio who has taken a recognized cupping course or a TCM practitioner. Untrained practitioners using cups may unknowingly leave you with bruises and other more serious injuries.
What should I do before and after cupping therapy?
There is no one-size-fits-all way to prepare for cupping therapy, but it is generally good advice to be well nourished and adequately hydrated. Cupping draws the fluids of your body along specific paths and, importantly, towards the surface. Adequate hydration ensures your organs and other deeper internal structures remain in good supply. We use the term “adequate hydration” because everyone is a bit different in their needs. You don’t need to over-hydrate to the point where you will have a washroom emergency during treatment.
In general, since cupping therapy can be taxing on the system, you will likely feel better afterwards if you are in well-nourished before and afterwards.
All treatments are built specifically for your needs, so modifications can be made to suit how you’re feeling on a given day. After cupping therapy in Toronto, Liam offers self-care advice based on your needs/goals.
Will I have marks on my body after cupping massage?
Although this is a possibility, we try to avoid leaving marks on your body.
Sometimes stationary cups are beneficial when mobilizing areas restricted by firmly connected layers of connective tissues, and stationary cups may leave red marks. The marks are created as cups draw blood up towards the surface, though these normally fade within hours to a day or two. This is not the same as bruising, which is a risk that a trained cupping therapist will avoid by limiting the amount of suction and length of time that the cups remain stationary.
With moving cups, there may also be temporary redness, but this rarely lasts for more than a few minutes.
Does cupping therapy hurt?
Cupping Therapy generally should not hurt, and pain is not necessary to achieve beneficial results. If you experience pain or other discomfort during your treatment, please let your therapist know so modifications can be made.
What is cupping therapy used for? Why is cupping therapy done?
Cupping therapy has a broad range of uses, most commonly: to warm up tissues as part of a larger treatment, to improve lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, to improve mobility by lifting and separating bonded connective tissue layers. Generally, cups are a tool to help optimize the condition of your body so it can operate at its peak health.
Is Cupping therapy good for anxiety?
Cupping therapy can be quite soothing, and in this way, it can help to reduce anxiety. As an alternative or compliment to Swedish massage, cupping helps flush circulation and relax muscles. While Swedish or Deep Tissue massage presses down into the tissues, cupping uses negative pressure to pull the tissues apart, and this can be another way to achieve similar results.
What is the price of Cupping therapy?
There is a marginal added cost to cupping therapy, since it requires additional training on the part of the therapist and added time after your treatment for the therapist to properly clean/disinfect the cups for reuse. To find out how much cupping therapy costs, all prices are listed on the homepage of this website.
Does insurance cover cupping therapy?
When cupping is conducted by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) like Liam, insurance will probably cover your treatment. Each insurance provider is different, and each company’s arrangement with an insurance provider is a bit different too, so it’s best to check in with your plan before booking your appointment.
Does cupping therapy work?
Cupping Therapy can be very effective for a range of treatment goals. Liam will ask you for a health history before your appointment and then conduct a brief interview with you before your treatment to ensure the cupping is appropriate for your goals.
Does cupping therapy help with back pain?
Depending on the cause of back pain, cupping therapy may be quite helpful. If your back pain is caused entirely or in part by muscle tension or connective tissue restrictions, cups can have a very positive effect. The vacuum created by cups helps to separate layers of connective and muscle tissues, promote healthy circulation, and encourage activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest) which reduces muscle tension.
Is Cupping therapy good for fertility treatment?
There are some theories in Traditional Chinese Medicine that acupuncture and various forms of cupping can help with fertility. This is not Liam’s specialty, so it would be an area of further research.
What is ancient cupping therapy and Asian cupping therapy?
Cupping has been a practice for thousands of years. There are records of their use in ancient Egypt, Greece, the Middle East, and China. These cultures all used cups to draw out illness and promote wellness, and some cultures even used them to draw out evil spirits.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cups are used in a similar way as in western Massage Therapy -- for a variety of purposes including treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, blood and lymph flow, and to help improve some respiratory conditions.
Can you take a shower after cupping therapy?
Yes, there is no reason you can’t have a shower after a cupping treatment provided you are in good health and not experiencing significant side-effects. You can go about your usual tasks, though it is generally good advice to take it slow and use a little extra caution after any massage therapy treatment. You may feel a bit spacey or light-headed, and it may take a bit of time to adjust to how your body feels after the release of tension and promotion of lymph/blood circulation flow.