When celebrities like Jennifer Anniston and Michael Phelps appeared with marks on their backs, many people wondered what they were. The answer was they were the byproduct of cupping therapy.
What is it?
Cupping is an ancient form of therapy where the therapist puts special glass or silicone cups on the skin for a few minutes to create suction that helps with pain, detoxification, and inflammation. Cupping originated in Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. In fact, one of the oldest medical textbooks, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used it in 1,550 B.C.
How is it done?
In one method, the therapist puts a flammable substance such as alcohol or paper in a round, glass cup and lights it. As the fire goes out, the therapist puts the cup upside down on the skin. As the air cools, it creates a vacuum which causes the skin to rise (and redden) as the blood vessels expand. The cup can be moved around or left in place, generally for up to 3 minutes. A more modern version uses a pump to create a vacuum inside the cup. While both methods leave red or purple circular marks (the more stagnant the blood, the darker they appear), these marks start to fade in a day or two and disappear altogether in seven to ten days. If you’re about to go on a beach vacation, and you embarrass easily, it’s probably a good idea to schedule the cupping after you return!
What to expect?
The treatment is not painful. In fact, it feels pretty good. The suction rapidly facilitates rigid soft tissue release, loosens & lifts connective tissue, breaks up and drains stagnation while increasing blood & lymph flow to skin & muscles in ways not possible using compression.
At Urban Oasis, you can receive cupping-only for 30 minutes or it can be integrated into a massage session for no additional cost.