Cupping Therapy Plays Well with Others

by Chelsea Henry

Cupping therapy is an important part of our integrative health practice because it supports the process of many of our treatments. I talked with several of our talented therapists about how it complements the work that they do and how they use it. This is what they said:

Erin Law, Therapeutic Sports Massage:

Cupping therapy helps to jump start myofascial release. The negative pressure of the suction combined with movement gives a different sensation than other myofascial techniques and helps the muscle reset itself to where it needs to be because the fascia has released. It is a great complement to other techniques and can sometimes create shifts that provide instant relief and allow chronic problems to just fade away.

Rocio Hernandez, Ashiatsu Massage:

Using cupping therapy after an Ashiatsu treatment really helps to bring the blood flow to the area, especially any area that is feeling stagnant, like the back or arm. The suction also helps to release the muscle when it is contracting, making for a faster release and bringing blood flow more quickly to the area. Afterward, people tend to feel either really energized or like they just ran a marathon.

Katherine Casey, Acupuncture:

Cupping facilitates better movement of blood and qi in an acupuncture treatment because of the openness of the tissue. The cups create negative pressure, as compared with massage, which uses positive pressure. This negative pressure opens up muscle and tissue, which works in concert with acupuncture needles to move qi.

Adie Grey MacKenzie, Lymphatic Massage:

Cupping can be very effective in helping to break up scar tissue that is impeding lymph flow, but it is not usually indicated for treating lymphadema or other lymphatic issues directly because it can be too aggressive for the lymph system. However, cupping works through the use of negative pressure, and a machine that uses very gentle negative pressure has recently been shown to be a successful lymphadema treatment. This is a growing edge conversation in the lymphatic massage community right now as we learn more about how to use cups and other negative pressure tools gently enough to support the lymphatic system.