What is Cupping Massage?

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Cupping massage is a modified version of “cupping therapy” which has been used extensively in Chinese medicine for several thousand years. By using vacuum pressure to create suction, cupping is used to stretch muscle and connective tissue. Combined with traditional massage techniques, this is a great modality for athletes or anyone who likes really deep pressure with less discomfort.

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I use two basic cupping techniques. The first one is very close to traditional cupping therapy where cups are placed over specific areas around the body and left for 10-20 minutes. The prolonged negative pressure helps tight muscles relax and promotes vasodilation to the surrounding soft tissues. These cups can be placed just about anywhere on the body where there are tight and stubborn muscles such as the IT band and shoulders. This process usually leaves circular “bruises.” The bruises do not hurt and usually last for a few days (depending on how pale your complexion is).

The second technique is a gliding technique. This mimics skin rolling that is used in myofascial release. Using glass bell cups, I glide the cups to loosen connective tissue and the top layer of fascia. This is a very relaxing and soothing technique that does not leave any marks and can even be used on the face for TMJ problems.

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Combining the hands on approach of massage therapy with the deep (and sometimes intense) negative pressure of cupping, makes Cupping Massage a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in the Chicagoland area.

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