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Cupping Therapy is a practice within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which is used in the treatment of many forms of diseases and skin conditions. This modality has found its way into Western massage therapy and physiotherapy practices for its ability to loosen connective tissue and stimulate tissue relaxation. It can also help to improve overall health by reducing blockages and improve posture by releasing muscular and fascial restrictions in the body.

In the treatment of sports injuries, Cupping Therapy is used by a variety of sports professionals, as it helps to activate blood vessels in the muscles, increasing blood flow to stiff or weakened tissues. Within TCM practices, cupping is used to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi energy in the body.

At Bellesmere Massage Therapy we provide traditional Cupping Therapy provided by a TCM practitioner using glass cups, combining both Eastern and Western practices. A Cupping treatment begins with a light application of oil before cupping jars are applied to the affected area. The procedure involves the removal of air from a glass cupping jar by applying light heat to the glass before it is placed on the skin. This creates a vacuum, suctioning the cup to the body and lifting the tissues under it. The practitioner may glide the cup along the affected area (Sliding Cupping) to combine massage techniques with the benefit of myofascial release.

The suctioning pressure lifts the tissues upward which can help release deep fascial restrictions, reduce swelling and pain, improve lymph flow, detoxify and reduce local congestion, improve blood flow and improve the flow of Qi energy. Side effects of cupping are relatively mild. A treatment often leaves some bruising. Marks that look like round circular bruises will be darker over more congested areas. Any bruising should fade within a few days.

The most common area treated with Cupping is the back, although it can also be used on the legs, knees, chest and shoulders. Since the central line of the nervous system is located on the back, Cupping along this area can be beneficial for the nervous system, reduce blockages and help restore the body’s natural flow of energy.

Cupping Therapy can be beneficial in the treatment of many conditions, including:

• Fascial restrictions / Tight muscles
• Musculoskeletal injuries and pain
• Postural restrictions
• Headaches
• Insomnia
• Poor circulation
• High blood pressure
• Surgical rehab
• Chronic Fatigue
• Congestion, Cough and Asthma
• Gynecological conditions/infertility
• Digestive/Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy)