Cupping Therapy (Fire and Silicone)
Cupping therapy, an ancient healing technique, uses cups of glass or silicone to create suction on the skin, improving blood flow and relieving muscle tension. Various cupping methods, such as fire, silicone, wet, and dry, are employed for different therapeutic purposes.
The procedure may leave circular marks on the skin, commonly known as “cupping marks” or “cup kisses,” which are temporary and typically fade within a few days to a week, depending on the treatment.
What to expect in a Cupping Therapy session
In preparation for your session, you may be asked to remove or wear loose clothing to facilitate the placement of cups on your skin. The therapist will place cups made of glass or silicone on specific areas of your body. The therapist may use various cupping techniques, such as stationary, moving, or flash cupping.
The therapist generates suction within the cups by heating the air inside (fire cupping) or manually pinching the cups (silicone cupping). This suction draws the skin and underlying tissue (fascia) into the cup, stimulating blood flow and alleviating muscle tension. Sensations experienced may include a pulling feeling or tightness as the cups adhere to the skin. While some individuals may initially feel mild discomfort or anxiety, most people find cupping relaxing.
Throughout your session, the cups are often moved and slid across your skin before they are placed in a stationary position. This stationary phase usually spans several minutes, typically lasting from 5 to 15 minutes, and is tailored to meet your specific needs with recommendations from the therapist. The duration may vary depending on the treatment length and the condition being addressed. Following the appointed time, the therapist will remove the cups, which might result in temporary “cupping marks” on your skin.
After your session, your therapist might offer guidance for post-care, including hydration, refraining from specific activities or treatments, enjoying salt baths, and applying calming lotions, salves, or oils to the skin.
The benefits of Cupping Therapy
- Eases muscle and joint discomfort by enhancing blood circulation in targeted areas, reducing pain.
- Diminishes inflammation, offering relief for conditions like arthritis.
- Improves blood flow, facilitating enhanced oxygenation and nutrient supply to tissues.
- Serves as a means of stress alleviation.
- Aids the body in eliminating toxins.
In fire cupping, glass cups are used. Before cupping, the skin is treated with oils or creams to facilitate smoother cup movement. A flame is briefly applied to the cup to create a vacuum effect, and then the cup is quickly placed on the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates suction against the skin, gently pulling it into the cup. The practitioner may use multiple cups and place them on specific body areas, allowing them to sit for a few minutes. Afterward, the cups are removed, and oils or salves are massaged onto the skin to aid healing.
Silicone cupping is a more modern variation of traditional cupping. Flexible silicone cups are used instead of fire and glass. Suction is created by squeezing the cup and placing it on the skin, creating a vacuum effect. Silicone cupping provides a gentler alternative to fire cupping. The cups can be moved around the skin, creating a massage-like effect. They can also often be left in place for a static cupping session.
What is the difference between Dry and Wet Cupping?
Dry cupping, also known as non-invasive or dry cupping, is the fundamental technique in cupping therapy, excluding incisions or bleeding (as seen in wet cupping or hijama). Using either glass or silicone cups, suction is created on the skin to enhance blood circulation and alleviate tension. The body is typically prepared with oil or cream to facilitate smooth cup movement. Cups can remain stationary or be worked across the skin to achieve the desired therapeutic outcome. Dry cupping is generally well-tolerated and non-invasive. Dry cupping alleviates muscle pain, reduces inflammation, and promotes overall relaxation.
Wet Cupping (NOT OFFERED)
Wet cupping, also referred to as “hijama” in traditional Arabic medicine, comprises a two-step process. Initially, dry cupping is conducted. Then, small incisions are made on the skin, and the cups are reapplied to extract a small amount of blood. Wet cupping is believed to purify the body by eliminating impurities and detoxification. Subsequent to cup removal, the practitioner may apply antiseptic ointment and dress the incisions. Wet cupping is perceived to aid in toxin elimination from the body and can be utilized for various health issues.