Because of some health related issues, I’ve received deep tissue massages for years. But this week, I got the opportunity to try something new – a cupping massage!
Cupping is an ancient technique that has been around for thousands of years. There have been, and currently are, a number of methods. My therapist told me she has three types of “cups,” although she only used a silicone version for my massage.
While traditional massage applies positive pressure, cupping is the inverse, or negative pressure. The cups are placed on an area of the body where you are experiencing pain (or an ailment), and the suction from the cup lifts up the skin. This suction breaks up blockages, removes toxins, improves blood flow, and helps lessen pain.
My massage started with some traditional, deep tissue pressure. Then, my therapist placed the cups around the areas that I was tight and sore. Some of the cups simply felt warm and relaxing. However, as the cups suction more tightly to trouble areas, I also had a few cups that felt quite painful. In fact, the ones placed across my upper back instantly made my skin feel like it was on fire. However, as soon as the cups were removed, this discomfort went away. (**Most readers might want to take this portion of my experience with a grain of salt. As someone who has fibromyalgia, my body’s perception of pain is very different from the average persons. So I’m not sure how universal this part of my experience is.)
After the cups are left on for awhile, the suction starts to let up as your skin releases. After that, she moved the cups all over my back for a bit and this felt fantastic.
She finished with some light massage and a good rub down with Hyssop lotion.
When I got up off the table, I instantly noticed that I felt “lighter” and even taller. I felt an evenness that I haven’t felt in a long time, like everything was exactly where it was supposed to be. My body felt the relief that I would normally feel after a deep tissue massage, but I also felt that I could breathe better.
When I came home, this is what my back looked like:
Although this looks bad, I didn’t feel any discomfort. In fact, the one thing I’ve noticed since the massage is that I don’t have the residual tenderness that I normally experience after deep tissue massages.
I was instructed to really increase my water consumption to flush out all of the junk that the massage broke up and released. So for the two days following the massage, I doubled my water intake (which is already at an impressive quantity thanks to breastfeeding – hastag, camel status), and did a lot of lemon and honey tea for additional detoxification.
All in all, I’m impressed and I feel great!
Cupping is in the same family as acupuncture, which Mike has tried in the past and has helped with his snoring. No medications were bought, or surgeries scheduled. I love finding these natural ways to deal with pain or discomfort. That’s my favorite way to take care of my body!