All Things Cupping

About Summit Massage LLC:

Summit Massage LLC is a massage therapy studio located in Sinking Spring, PA. Owned by Sydney Mallatratt, clients come to Summit with a wide range of conditions. Sydney has experience working with clients with complaints ranging from general muscle tension to traumatic auto accident injuries and more complex, chronic conditions. The goal at Summit Massage LLC is to support the mind, body, and spirit in order to promote healing. At Summit, your health is the number one priority in a clean, comfortable space. Sydney is always discovering and learning new techniques to aid her clients in their recovery, including cupping therapy. In September, Summit Massage LLC will be relocating over to Penn Ave in West Reading. To learn more about the studio, visit www.summitmassagepa.com or call Sydney with any questions at 610-334-8392.

I’m assuming you’ve probably heard something about cupping therapy before. Probably back in 2016, when Olympic champion Michael Phelps was seen competing with dark, circular marks on his back and shoulders. While this famous therapy is still growing in popularity in Western culture, this technique has been used for thousands of years. The Ebers Papyrus, written around 1550 B.C., describes the practice of cupping used by the ancient Egyptians. Hippocrates, one of the most famous early figures in medicine, also describes in his writings the use of cupping in ancient Greece.

So now that we know cupping as been around for thousands of years, I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly it is. Cupping therapy is used to release stagnant blood and fluid (which can contain toxins and waste) in the muscles/connective tissue. This stagnation in the muscles is very common, especially in people who lead active lives. As these fluids are released, it allows fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissues, which promotes healing. Usually a cupping session lasts anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on your individual needs. Cupping ends up simulating a deep tissue massage, without the added soreness the next day. If you think of traditional Swedish massage as a compression of the muscles, then cupping would be a decompression of the muscles.

Cupping therapy is very easy to spot with the noticeable marks left on the skin. They are usually circular and bright red, pink, or even purple. These marks are completely normal and harmless. It’s also important to note, they aren’t bruises! These marks are simply evidence of the new and improved blood flow that is happening. Usually, these marks last anyway from 1-14 days, although the average is 4-5 days. It’s important to remember though, these marks happen every time you receive a cupping treatment.

So, what are some of the benefits of cupping? This treatment is wonderful for stimulating circulation, reducing pain, restoring range of motion, and faster elimination of toxins/waste. A cupping session is a great choice for several conditions/complaints including, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, scar tissue, athletic injuries/performance, diabetes, and the list goes on. Cupping is particularly effective for athletes as it’s not muscle fatiguing. This means that athletes can receive cupping safely before or after a sports event without it affecting their performance from soreness. Cupping therapy doesn’t have many contraindications, but there are some things to watch for. Don’t receive cupping if you have a fever or are feeling sick, it’s best to wait until you’re feeling better! It’s also important to let your massage therapist know if you have any conditions affecting bleeding/cardiovascular health, cancer, metal implants, or osteoporosis, in addition to any other important health history information. This way the therapist can help keep you as safe as possible during your cupping session.

After you receive your cupping treatment, there are a few guidelines you should follow. Minimize caffeine and alcohol, these can slow down your body’s natural healing process. Try to relax and not overdo it after a cupping session, this will also allow yourself time to recover and heal as quickly as possible. Make sure to schedule another cupping session!

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