Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2020

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18 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a y / j u n e 2 0 2 0 SAVVY SELF-CARE best practices Self-Cupping By Heath and Nicole Reed Cupping may be trending now, but it's nothing new. After all, the modern breast pump was inspired by the same cupping therapy espoused by Hippocrates, approved by the prophet Muhammed, and whose roots tunnel back 3,000 years into the past to ancient China. The enduring use of cupping therapy throughout the ages and across the globe speaks to its timeless efficacy. Utilizing cups can be a new or updated approach for you to relieve pain, promote fascial health, and reduce stagnation in the body for your clients—and for yourself! In your sessions, cups can give your hands a respite from repetitive use. And in your own self-care at home, cups can relieve tension from overuse in your forearms and shoulders, relieve low-back stiffness from standing all day, and replenish circulation from your head to your toes after a day of sharing, connecting, and giving. Even after a brief period of practice and exploration, we were amazed at how quickly we felt the benefits of cupping. We are excited about sharing an effective new modality with our clients and feeling the refreshment of our own energy system that comes from regularly using cups on ourselves. Simply defined, cupping therapy utilizes negative pressure (akin to a vacuum suction) to increase the circulation of blood and qi. As bodyworkers, we are more familiar with using positive pressure, like deep-tissue compression. The negative pressure created by the suction may be used with a sliding approach, or the cups may be placed in stationary locations in one or more areas of the body. Studies demonstrate that cupping impacts blood vessels up to four inches deep to the skin, making this a great modality to assist in encouraging lymph flow and promoting the movement of qi.

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