Cupping massage therapy is different from traditional massage in that the therapist can do more work in a short amount of time. For example, if there is a really thick trigger point on the shoulder but we need to still work on the hip area, we can leave a cup on the shoulder to help break down that trigger point while we're doing other work on the body. After the cup is removed, you're getting to the deeper layers of the muscle versus trying to push into the body where people have pain - it facilitates the massage in a different way.
We use silicone cups that we glide along the body to help break down trigger points and myofascial strains in the body.
Cupping massage feels like a huge octopus just got a hold of you. It sounds strange, but when you put the cup on the body and start pulling – that sensation, if you can imagine an Octopus, is basically how cupping feels.
A lot of people know cupping from Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer. You likely have seen those gigantic welts on his back. Those welts are the primary effect of cupping. It's bringing blood to the surface of the skin depending on how much stagnation or lack of circulation is in that particular area. This would create these deeper circles. The darker the circle, the more toxins have been released from that particular area.
The marks left on the body ranges from a couple of days to a week. For some of the deeper tissue clients, marks can last up to two weeks.
I wouldn't recommend it for prenatal clients, the elderly, or anyone who has sensitive skin. This is primarily because of the way the cups are left on the skin and how they're being dragged. Anyone who has sensitive skin or skin with broken lesions would not feel comfortable.
It's much like a traditional massage. You can get them as often as once a week. Most of our clients will come every 2 weeks or once a month.
Traditionally it's 60 minutes, but we also do 90 minutes.
Cupping can be very helpful for chronic pain. I have one particular client who is a musician and has had chronic shoulder pain. He started coming to see us once a week for massage therapy, so he would be able to play his guitar. In a matter of 3 months, he was able to shift to a massage once a month because of the benefits of the cupping massage.
My clients have absolutely loved cupping and the results they're getting.
First time cupping massage is just like getting a regular massage. There's not much you need to prepare for. All you need to do is keep your body nice and hydrated pre- and post-massage.