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Myofascial cupping is a soft tissue therapy. Cupping origins from the Egyptians in 1550 BC, who then introduced it to the Greeks around 400 BC. Evidence of cupping has also been found in ancient Chinese and Hindu writings. Cupping encourages healing by creating a suction to the skin using plastic/glass cups that pull up the underlying tissues, blood, and other fluids to the surface of the skin. 
 
Myofascial cupping is a treatment which is combined with massage as well. It’s there to lift, sperate, and stretch underlying soft tissue. Cupping can be done anywhere on the body where there’s tightness. The cups are using applied to an affected area and moved over the surface in a gliding motion, or possibly put on the fascial adhesion or trigger point for a short time to reduce or eliminate it. The cups can also be used by the therapist putting the cup on the client and then asking the client to perform certain exercises to allow the muscle tissue to stretch and move underneath. 
 
Cupping can leave light to dark red marks on the body which should disappear in 5 to 10 days. To imagine the after-effects, consider what you’d look like if you’d been hugged by an octopus! The marks are caused by the debris being pulled up and placed under the skin. This is the most effective place for it to be deposited because the lymphatic system can drain them away. 
 

What Are The Benefits of Cupping? 

Myofascial cupping can help treat soft tissue conditions, musculoskeletal tension, pain, and sporting injuries. This treatment helps with the reduction in sympathetic nerve response and increased parasympathetic nerve response. The sympathetic nerves will get the organs prepared for stress. It does this by increasing the heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, and decreasing blood flow to the skin. With this reduced it will allow the parasympathetic nerve response to increase, allowing the body to relax and calm down for the treatment. 
 
The cups bringing the muscles tissue up will allow passive stretching of the soft tissues. This will increase flexibility, decrease tension, and help with prevention of injury. When the cup draws the muscle tissue up it draws blood from deep to superficial. This results in nourishing the skin by improving blood circulation. Blood circulation is important in maintaining healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. It allows the lungs, heart and muscles to function properly and efficiently. It will also fight off and avoid potential disease and sicknesses. 
 
Cupping has another benefit of reducing localised inflammation and supporting recovery by increasing nutrients during the repair phase of an injury. It increases the nutrients by bringing the blood flow up to the surface. 
 
Myofascial cupping is beneficial for the lymph nodes as well. The cups stimulate the circulation of blood, break up adhesions, and create pathways for toxins to be drawn out of the body through the lymphatic system. This helps with recovery because the lactic acid and metabolic waste will be easily moved through to the lymph nodes. 
 
The way in which the cups help with muscle tightness is by separating the layers of connective tissue to bring hydration and blood flow to the body tissues, softening the tight muscles. This increases the range of movement and flexibility in the joints. 

Three Most Important Stages of Recovery 

When you’ve had a cupping treatment it’s vital to drink lots of water. Water will help flush the lymphatic system of the cellular waste that cupping helps release from the tissues. Drinking water will enhance the results of cupping. 
 
Stay warm. Try and cover the areas where received the cupping, as the skin can become sensitive and more exposed to everything that it comes into contact with. 
 
Rest. Feeling tired and experiencing some flu-like systems after cupping is normal. Any aching of the body or headaches are normal. This is because there’s a reaction to the immune system to the cellular waste that the cupping has helped release. This is a temporary reaction and is the reason why rest afterwards is important. 
 
Avoid 4-6 hours post cupping to avoid exposure to: 
 
1- Caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, dairy and processed, meats. 
These foods and drinks slow down the body’s ability to process the treatment. 
 
2- Hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, and strong air conditioning. 
After cupping, your skin will be more sensitive to temperature in the areas where the cups were placed. The skin will need some time to recover. 
 
3- Intense exercise 
Muscles will be relaxed and need recovery time. 

Cupping Marks – The Signs of Octopus Hugs! 

The cupping marks can last between 5-10 days. This is completely depending on the client. Discoloration from the cupping will fade. Some marks may fade after a few hours while others take much longer to disappear completely. The discolorations are related to the body’s health at the time of the cupping. In order to make the marks disappear faster, hydrate well and rest as much as possible. 
 
Myofascial cupping overall is a great way to look after the body and has many benefits. It works best with courses of treatments for example: starting with three treatments weekly and then moving to every two weeks for maintenance. 
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