For Those of you Familiar with Traditional Cupping, Massage Cupping is Very Different.

I primarily use Baguanfa Soft Silicone Cups for my cupping and incorporate the cupping directly into my Deep Lomi Massage style so it is a very different experience than what most people are used to in terms of cupping therapy. For example, I don’t always leave cups in one place for very long, as you are probably used to if you receive traditional cupping treatments. Instead, I move the cups right along with my massage strokes until I find troubled areas where I can focus my cupping therapy.   

Baguanfa Cups

What is Massage Cupping Therapy
I am going to describe cupping therapy in terms of my massage practice, as that is quite different from the many other cupping modalities and practices. When I incorporate cupping into my massage I am leveraging the contrast of the benefits derived from creating a localized vacuum (negative pressure) with the benefits derived from manual tissue manipulation (positive pressure), joint manipulation and relaxation work.

The vacuum created by the suction effect of the cups increases blood and lymphatic circulation systemically and locally, relaxes muscle and connective tissue, draws out “stagnation”, pathogenic factors and toxins from the tissues and releases a myriad of pain causing factors…and that is in addition to the physiological and relaxation benefits of my Deep Lomi massage.

Just as there are different levels of manual pressure in massage therapy, there are also different levels of vacuum or negative pressure used in Massage Cupping Therapy from very light to very “heavy”. Sometimes I will use the cups extensively if a client requests a Massage Therapy Cupping Session. However, most of the time I will just introduce them as another option during your massage if I feel they can help us achieve a desired outcome. Make sure and ask me if you want to try them during your massage.

The Benefits of Using Baguanfa Silicone Cups
The Baguanfa Silicone Cups come in many different sizes and they easily change shape; making for an amazing array of places these cups can be fit and used on the body. The Baguanfa silicone cups are much more supple than other silicone cups and are much easier to manipulate. Places that traditional cups are difficult or impossible to be used on, like the elbows, knees, scapulae, hands, feet, abdominals, shoulders, spine, etc., etc., etc.

Bony prominences are no longer off limits to these moving and flexible cups. The flexibility of these cups makes them the best choice in deep tissue massage, myofascial release, dynamic cupping during joint manipulations and in my Deep Lomi applications. They are also clear so you can see the actual work that you are doing as opposed to the opaque soft cups available today.

Self Care
Cupping is also a great form of self-care. It is a good idea to talk to your healthcare practitioner as well as a qualified cupping practitioner to establish a self-care cupping protocol before you start placing these all over your body. When you are ready here is a link to the cups that I prefer on Amazon because of the softness of the silicone and ease of use.

Glass Cups and Fire Cupping
For those of you that want a more thorough cupping experience, I do practice fire cupping with the traditional thick glass cups. The difference here is that my focus is effecting change in your soft tissues and not in the meridian work or affecting the energy flows that your acupuncturist is so expertly trained in. (My awesome and highly recommended Acupuncturist is Michele Halfhill EAMP/LAc of Vital Essence Acupuncture in the University District).

Glass Fire Cups