Massage Cupping (MC) or Myofacial Decompression (MDF) is an adaption of ancient techniques and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Glass, silicone, or plastic cups create a negative/reverse pressure on the skin’s surface. Cups are then moved using various techniques while gently pulling up, loosening ridged, flushing stagnation, and treating injured tissue. Bony land marks such as spine and scapula which are often avoided (due to compression because typical massage would cause pain), but can be worked on.
The cups can also be parked or left on a particular area for short duration to facilitate joint mobilization or soft tissue release. Suction reaches deep into soft tissue, muscle attachments, fascial tissue, and organs. Toxins, inflammation, blood, and lymph are then pulled to the lymphatic level so that the body can illuminate what is stirred up more effectively.
Health and healing are promoted by loosening soft and connective tissue, therefore visible and palpable improvements are seen in scars, hypertonic tissue, and adhesions. The outcome is increased circulation, lymph flow, deep tissue, and the sensation is truly indescribable.
16 CE's Live Contact Hours
If you are a new practitioner or a seasoned veteran in the field you should have this modality in your tool box. Massage Cupping (MC) is exploding across the country and becoming a highly sought after rehabilitative therapy for athletes to the average American alike. As MC grows in popularity and the general consumer experiences its unique and effective lasting results the demand for certified practitioners will grow.
MC can revolutionize, diversify, and prolong your practice as a Massage Therapist. Due to burnout, injury, and saturated markets the average “shelf life” for a MT is about 3 years. MC is a great modality to prevent injury, burnout, and situate yourself in the market place by giving you a modality that is effective and unique. MC can increase your bottom line, it saves strain on the practitioners body and allow you to see more clients a day, at the same time providing an effective and lasting treatment. Depending on how your practice is structured, you can add MC to your ala carte menu in the same way you offer hot stones, spa applications, or other specialized treatments.
Each massage cupping workshop is an accelerated learning environment with an emphasis on an experiential and a practical approach to learning the art of massage cupping. We spend a majority of time in class focusing on the practical application of massage cupping and less time on theory and lecture. The demonstration segments are highly informative and designed to teach through action and experience. The ample practice time helps to ensure each student receives an authentic feel during the workshop how massage cupping can benefit both practitioner and client.
Jason’s teaching style is relaxed, open, and often filled with humor. We believe that learning happens when our students are comfortable and at ease, so we strive to keep the workshop engaging, interactive, and fun.
There are four demonstrations and four exchanges in each massage cupping workshop. Throughout the course you will have approximately five hours of hands-on application and five hours of receiving massage cupping from your class partner. The series of demonstrations is designed to illustrate how to apply each of the different styles of cups on the entire body in prone, supine, and side-laying position.
Another beneficial aspect of cupping is the ease for the practitioner. This method allows respite for the hands from repetitive movement and enables you the therapist to get deeper without discomfort to the client or yourself. It saves time and energy, thus allowing for to see more clients over all.
Massage cupping continues to evolve as new equipment is located and creative applications are discovered. A small micro-cup set has led to a new technique used to drain and lift the face, loosening tight facial muscles and stimulating blood flow to the skin. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders also respond well. This is a quick yet effective addition to a facial, massage or body treatment.
Adding massage cupping to a treatment should result in an additional charge of $5-15 per session, with no increase in time or cost for the practitioner.
MC has remained in obscurity to the western world for many generations, this is a unique and wildly effective tx. By practicing MC you set yourself apart from many other practitioners that don’t off this time honored and ancient medicine.
Massage cupping gives you the benefit of a deep tissue massage without the all of the discomfort; the reverse pressure of the suction is easily combined with different massage movements, strokes, and modalities to enhance their efficacy. Cupping therapy softens, stretches, and hydrates rigid soft tissue by pulling it up and away from underlying structures, thus loosening areas of adhesions or restriction and enabling each muscle to move interdependently.
Because it engages deeply with muscle tissue and all of its overlying tissues, massage cupping provides many of the benefits of traditional deep tissue massage with less discomfort for the recipient, and less fatigue for the massage practitioner. Massage cupping helps to soften, stretch, and hydrate rigid soft tissue.
Negative or Reverse pressure helps to release adhered tissues from underlying structures, encouraging blood and lymph flow to areas deprived of healthy circulation. Massage cupping benefits both client and practitioner because it complements different massage movements, strokes, and modalities to increase their duration and efficacy.
Loosening soft connective tissue promotes health and healing. Those receiving a cupping massage can expect to see visible and palpable improvements in scar tissue, adhesions or “knots”, hypertonicities, range of motion, lymphatic flow, skin health, improved digestion, and an increase in overall well being. In essence, MC deepens the efficacy of any modality applied before or after the tissue has been treated by massage cupping.
Because of its deep activation with all layers of the dermis, lymphatic tissue, and muscle tissue, cupping greatly benefits all traditional massage modalities including deep tissue massage, sports massage, Swedish massage, Rolfing, exfoliation, manual lymphatic drainage, body wraps, pin and stretch, intraoral massage, etc.
Due to its wide application, many other bodywork therapies can greatly benefit from cupping massage techniques including physiotherapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, kinesiology, acupuncture, bio-magnetic field therapy, trigger point therapy, chiropractic, shiatsu, osteopathy, aesthetic protocols, pre/post surgical care, and more.
The most common misunderstanding regarding the after-effects of massage cupping is the potential for “bruising” to result, however it’s very important to know the difference between “marks and “bruises”. Bruises result from a blunt force trauma, resulting in damaged tissue and broken blood vessels. Marks typically are a result of dead or stagnant blood, solid bloat, sluggish or impeaded lymph flow, cellular debris, pathogenic factors, and toxins are present in the body, cupping can leave marks which indicate that the stagnation or disease has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface, allowing fresh oxygenated blood to nourish and heal the underlying areas.
In some industrialized countries where allopathic medicine has over-shadowed more holistic, natural approaches, these surface discolorations are misinterpreted as damage rather than the result of toxic agents being drawn to the surface. Westerners also live in an image conscious society that has a heightened sensitivity to domestic abuse. Without sufficient understanding, some people are unnerved seeing this after-effect. Once people understand that these marks are therapeutic and feel the results, many concerns dissipate.
The marks that can occur are a measurable result of healing that has begun.
The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, and range from a bright red to dark purple, usually lasting 3 days to one week; sometimes longer if the person is in a state of chronic congestion or leads a sedentary lifestyle. If there is no stagnation present, there will be only a light pink mark that disappears in a few minutes to a few of hours. Sites where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple cupping treatments to remove all stagnation. You will find in follow up treatments the marks will be visibly lighter and lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body.
Just like positive deep tissue massage if the area being treated is injured, in a state of chronic stress, is adhered, or hypertonic; MC can hurt in a like manner that normal massage can. It is very important that you see a therapist who has had specialty training in MC and a practitioner who you trust, an open line of communication, especially in the beginning of your exposure to MC, is paramount.
Simply put, yes MC can hurt, however it doesn’t need to. With continued treatment with MC and other massage modalities, healthy lifestyle, and seeing an educated practitioner you should enjoy your MC experience every time.