Ace Massage Cupping

Ace Massage certified therapists use negative pressure suction with Massage Cupping™ to release chronically tight muscles, scar tissue, and connective tissue, in order to increase blood flow and ease pain.

Cupping classes teach the therapist about this ancient Chinese art, as well as the positive health benefits of massage cupping and the negative health problems that can occur if the therapy is not performed correctly.

How does cupping work?

The cup is placed over the body area to be treated and suction is created using either a vacuum gun, bulb, or if rubber cups are being used, by the therapist's hands. The suction pressure can range from light to heavy.

The original method of massage cupping involves placing a flame into a glass cup to create the vacuum. Some therapists who were trained using this method, much prefer it over rubber cups.

Benefits of Massage Cupping

By creating suction and negative pressure, cupping is used to release tight muscles, loosen scar tissue, relax connective tissue, increase hydration and blood flow, and drain toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.

Body Contouring to reduce cellulite, spider veins, stretch marks, or scars, is also growing in popularity. Many spas across the world are offering this service as a skin-perfecting treatment.

What are contraindications for Cupping? When should it not be used?

Cupping can easily be used to produce healthy outcomes, from lymph drainage to deep tissue. The therapy also complements many other health practices, ranging from massage/ spa treatments to physical therapy.

However, there are times when you should not use cupping.

If the client has:

  • Heart Failure
  • Kidney Disease or failure
  • Severe Edema
  • Dermatitis
  • Severe or Unexplained Alleregies
  • Hemophilia
  • Leukemia
  • Skin Destruction of any kind

Use extreme caution with pregnant women, especially avoid the stomach/abdominal region, low back, and inner parts of the legs. Many therapist choose to not offer massage cupping to pregnant clients, which is often the safest.

How much does Massage Cupping cost?

Treatments may be higher than a regular relaxation massage session, but usually only by $10-$20. This is because training for this treatment is costly, and therapists often take several classes before offering them to clients.

Modern Massage Cupping™ vs. Traditional Chinese Cupping 

Traditional Chinese cupping uses stationary glass cups that are placed on the skin and left for a 5 to 15 minutes. The goal is to move stagnated blood and disperse internal heat.

In modern Massage Cupping™, the massage therapist will administer oil or lotion to facilitate smooth, gliding movements with either glass or rubber cups. Benefits of modern cupping types of massage therapy are to encourage stagnated blood movement and increase circulation.

What are other, non-traditional forms of cupping?

There are different versions of Cupping including:

  • Stationary (Retaining) Cupping - Cup is retained 5-15 minutes after skin suction has been done.
  • Needle Cupping - needle is placed into an acupressure point, and suction accures afterwards (where needle is inside the cup).
  • Moxa Cupping - involves lighting the mugwort herb, and using it to heat acupoints in order to to break blockages of energy or blood.
  • Water Cupping - using boiling or very hot water and rubbing the jar (boiling water inside) over the skin
  • Wet Cupping - requires making a small scratch of the skin, so that a small amount of blood is drawn before the suction.
  • Flash Cupping - where suction of the skin is created for 1-2 seconds and quickly withdrawn
  • Herbal Cupping - where an herbal tincture is applied to the inside of the cup
  • Aquatic Cupping - performed with client in water

    This video, by Ace Massage Cupping™ founder, Anita Shannon, demonstrates the technique.

About Ace Massage Cupping™
by: Herman Bryant, Massage Cupping™ Instructor

Massage Cupping™ has emerged from a very ancient technique of traditional cupping whose primary purpose involved the stationary placement of cups to achieve balance in the body.

Today, Massage Cupping™ is an active and continual movement of massage cups on the client’s body. The purpose of continual movement helps the client’s body free itself from stagnation of fluid, loosening of scar tissue, releasing restriction or tightness of sore muscle tissue, as well as providing a sedating and gentle relaxation massage treatment.

Massage Cupping™ not only benefits the client but it provides a respite for the therapist hands when constant manipulation is required in deep tissue or trigger point work.

Many therapists trained in this technique found cupping to be a beneficial tool added to their skill of expertise. Cupping can become an unlimited creative resource in the hands of trained therapist whose purpose in treatment becomes the intent.

If you want to learn cupping at home, this Bellabaci - Video Training & Digital Manual teaches simple steps on how to provide cupping therapy and why it is still considered a part of Chinese medicine, for healing common ailments and disease.

Classes with Ace Massage Cupping can be found on their website.

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Go back to Massage Techniques from Ace Massage Cupping

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