Are those hickeys on your neck?

It is an inevitable question you will hear after visiting your acupuncturist for a cupping session, and one that we often hear at the office. But what a great opportunity to educate, and in turn advertise your healthcare regime (along with your acupuncturist)!
What is cupping
Simplified, cupping is the placement of glass or silicone cups on the skin and creating a vacuum like suction. There are several different methods used to create this suction, the most popular being lighting an alcohol soaked cotton ball inside the cup, or attaching a suction pump to the end of the cup. As a result of the suction, the superficial layer of muscle is pulled up into the cup which stimulates blood circulation, softens adhesions, and provides a pathway for the body to draw out toxins via the lymph system. In fact, a well placed cup can have an effect through four inches of tissues, thus affecting, scar tissues, muscle, fascia, blood vessels, nerves, and the skin!
But why does cupping leave marks on the skin?
Often clients will leave a cupping session with circular marks that can range from a flushed pink color anywhere to a dark purple. From an Eastern medicine prospective, the marks demonstrate the quality of qi and blood flow through the tissue—the darker the mark the less flow in the area. With a diminished blood flow injury, pain, and slower healing time results. But from a conventional medical standpoint, the coloration left by the cups is dead cellular debris and fluid that the cup has pulled to the surface, this debris will then be cleared away by the lymphatic system which lies right underneath the skin.
Why should I get cupped?
Cupping can be used for a range of conditions, anything from tight and stiff muscles to anxiety and stress. As most diseases and complaints are rooted in stress, cupping can often promote healing by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system in charge of relaxation). But the number one reason cupping is sought out and utilized is in the treatment of acute and chronic painful conditions, anything from back pain to headaches can be addressed with the use of cupping.
Interested in learning more? Or experiencing a treatment yourself?
Send us an email, give us a call, or book an appointment online using our convenient online scheduling service. We can’t wait to get our cups on you!