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Cupping refers to an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup. In some cases, the cup may be moved while the suction of skin is active, causing a regional pulling of the skin and muscle
Most manual massage therapy techniques involve positive pressure of pushing into the body, however Myofascial Cupping is unique in that negative pressure is the means for changing tissue adhesions. Though the skin may be temporarily discolored by red rings or hickey-like marks from the suction in the cup, this is not the intention of the therapy and therefore the success of the treatment is not gauged in this way.
Cupping is used in the treatment of:
- Scar tissue
- Fascial adhesions
- Chronic pain/tightness
- Prevention of stretch marks
- Decreased global range of motion.