People will often find their way to Chinese medicine through an interest in cupping. It’s true, cupping has become popularized in recent years. Cupping is a technique that is somewhat of a massage, but in reverse. So what cupping does is actually lift the skin and the musculature underneath, so that nerves underneath have more to traverse. So it can be very useful in cases where someone has pain due to impingement or blockages in the channels or structures underneath the surface.
When I do cupping, I like to do sliding cupping preferentially. I find that that doesn’t leave the characteristic marks, and it also helps to somewhat smoothe the area a little bit better. I like to first start with a lubricant on the surface of the skin. I apply this just enough so that the cups have a little bit of gliding ability, after which, I apply suction to the patient’s comfort level, and then as I’m sliding the cups, I’ll check to see if there are some areas where the skin is a little bit hypertonic due to the muscles underneath being a little bit inflamed or swollen, and I may apply some pressure in these areas. This stimulates not only the lymph flow underneath the skin, but also helps to loosen the fibers in the muscles even further, making the cupping even more beneficial.
If you’d like to learn more about cupping, or to experience it yourself, feel free to give us a call at (773) 828-3001.