History of Myofascial Cupping
Therapeutic cupping is an ancient form of treatment that has been used globally for thousands of years. In 18th century Europe, doctors practised cupping for colds, pneumonia, toxicity, inflammation, and as an aid to relieve pressure & pain. Historically, many types of materials have been used for cups, including clay, horn, bamboo, and glass. Glass cups are still commonly used, particularly in fire cupping. Silicone cups are another popular modern option, for their contouring properties, safety, and ease of use.
There are many conditions for which myofascial cupping can be beneficial. Cupping reduces rigidity, stimulates circulation, and softens contracted tissues. It relieves muscular aches, pain, and spasm. Small glass tubular cups with a hand pump are used for sinus, TMJ, neck, and delicate areas. Abdominal cupping can be useful for those suffering with constipation and digestive disorders. Cupping is also a great preparation for chiropractic treatments.
How it Works – Myofascial cupping (silicone cups, no fire)
After applying a lubricant on the skin, negative pressure is created by pushing the air out of silicone cups and applying them to the fascia, creating a seal. Suction draws fluids towards the surface of the skin, re-hydrating tissue and restoring its elastane properties.
Gentle lifting and movement of the cups in various directions separates tissue layers, breaking down scar tissue and adhesions. This allows more freedom of movement throughout the fascia, relieving tension and promoting flushing, draining, and healing.
How it Works – Fire Cupping (glass cups, 90-minute treatments)
Fire cupping is a very traditional form of myofascial cupping. Fire is the agent creating suction in the glass cups: when a flame is placed into the cup, it depletes the cup of oxygen. The lack of oxygen in the cup creates the negative pressure (suction) and, when placed on the body, lifts the skin to relieve pressure and stimulate circulation.
Fire cupping provides a warming effect, but the cups are not on fire when placed on your skin and will not burn you.
Do they leave marks?
This varies from patient to patient, and depends on the style of cupping treatment. Marks left by myofascial cupping are harmless, and will fade after treatment. Your practitioner will work cautiously during your first appointment to determine your sensitivity level and receptivity to the treatment.
With myofascial cupping performed with silicone cups, a dynamic method of cupping can be used to avoid leaving marks on the skin. Many people do not experience marks left on their body after this type of cupping treatment.
Fire cupping is performed with glass cups and the cups are typically left more stationary on the body. Because of this, it is more likely to see circular marks with colouration on the skin where the cups were placed.