Earliest known text of using fire cupping is from the Ebers Papyrus, written c. 1550 BC.
Fire cupping is an ancient and effective way to bring what is held deep to the surface.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles and fascia, lubricate tissue, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism to name a few!
How I use cupping in practice - after warming up your muscles with massage, cups are applied to areas of restriction. Areas of restriction can be "knots", tight muscles that inhibit mobility, or places just ache. The two types of cups I use are glass and silicone.
Glass cups are used with a flame is "thrown" into the cup with a cotton ball and then the cup is placed on the skin creating a vacuum. Silicone cups are used when I want to bring a lot of movement to the tissue, I utilize these for slide cupping. This is when I put a therapeutic herbal oil on the skin, squeeze the silicone cup, place it on the skin to create the suction then slide the cup over the skin to loosen fascia and lubricate the underlying tissue.
The vacuum created pulls the skin and tissue up into the cup and brings blood to the area. In my sessions cups are typically in place for 5-15 min. as I massage other parts of the body; it's like you are getting treatment in 2 places at once! Over the next few days you will notice the tension is releasing, like a extension to your massage long after you've left the table.
Cupping does not cause pain, it feels more like a weighted pressure and most folks find it very relaxing. The marks left by the cups are generally gone in 1-5 days and may feel tender or sore 24 hours following treatment. Cupping is always optional, and there is no extra charge for this service.