Friday, December 13, 2013

Cupping marks, Cupping benefits: Show off your healing!

  Cupping therapy has many health benefits, including:
  • Relaxes tense muscles
  • Improves circulation
  • Relieves pain naturally
  • Flushes stagnant tissues with blood and oxygen
  • Detoxifies, Cleanses
  • Immune-boosting
  • De-stressing
  • Restores, balances qi
  But cupping can temporarily leave marks, or discolorations on the skin where they are applied. What are the marks? What do they tell us about your body & your health?

  The marks are usually circular, and they show up during the cupping session where cups are applied to the skin. They can last for several days, up to 2 weeks. They are also called gua sa marks (Eastern medicine), or ecchymoses (Western medicine), and they result from blood being drawn through the tissues by the cup suction.

Shoulder cupping reveals ischemic area, removing toxins
   As the suction (from the cups) decompresses, pathways are opened. Blood, lymph and other fluids are flushed through areas of stagnation. Your tissues can be stagnant or ischemic (lacking blood-flow) 
due to:
  • Adhesions and restrictions
  • Repetitive activities, like work, hobbies, sports, bad posture
  • Medical conditions, such as autoimmune disorders and poor circulation 
  • Being overworked, or weak

Cupping is an excellent way to restore tissues to healthier states; i.e., restoring "qi".

What do the marks mean?
The marks tell us about the stagnation in an area; the need for blood-flow and detoxification. As you can see in the picture above, the shoulder area is getting slightly pink under the cups. And there are circles where the cups have been. This client might have slouched posture, a previous shoulder or back injury, or repetitive stress from daily activities. (The marks in this picture are not unusually dark, or abnormal, which would indicate a medical condition present).
If you have certain medical conditions, like an autoimmune disorder or poor circultion or toxicity, then your marks may be darker. They also might fade more slowly.

    Unlike bruises, cupping marks fade gradually. Because they are not bruises, they do not change colors in phases. But like any therapy, it's important to tell your therapist if they are suctioned much too tightly! Causing dark marks is not the goal of cupping therapy.

    As you receive continued cupping to an area, your marks will likely be lighter in color. They should also fade sooner. If you wait too long between cupping sessions, and you subject your body to the same stresses, cup marks might not be lighter-colored.

What if no marks appear?
   Then, perhaps your tissues are super-healthy and you have received cupping on a regular basis.
   Or your therapist chose to use gentle suction, which is appropriate in many cases.
   Or the cups were not applied for long.

Cupping can have powerful effects when applied gently, for a short time!

   At Balanced Boulder Massage & Cupping, Nina applies cups with no-more-than "comfortably strong" suction. A health questionaire, before your 1st treatment, helps your therapist guide your treatment so that it is healing for you but never uncomfortable.

   EMBRACE cupping marks, and RECEIVE an ancient therapy that will leave you feeling blissfully healthier!

1 comment:

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