Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses cups suctioned onto the skin to help relieve pain and inflammation, increase blood flow, and complement other forms of bodywork

What is cupping and what does it do?

Cupping is a decompressive therapy that uses round cups and suction on parts of the body to draw inflammation out of the tissues. This allows for increased blood supply to the muscles, while allowing toxins to be released through the lymphatic system. The power of the cups being suctioned to the skin is what relieves muscle tension. As the cups are on the skin, they are pulling the muscles away from the bone structure, creating space for the needed blood flow.

Most people that come into The Pain Wall are looking for tension release, but there are many other benefits to the work that we do. Cupping treats conditions like plantar fasciitis, chronic pain, fascia restriction, and is very effective in breaking up scar tissue, but it also impacts the nervous system which will promote relaxation. This means that cupping is great for people that have a lot of anxiety, insomnia, headaches or chronic fatigue.

Why does cupping leave bruises?

Cupping marks are almost always left behind, but they do serve a purpose. The size, shape and color are reflective of the level of stagnation where the cup was placed. The darker the bruise, the more stagnant the blood was, or the more tense the area was. The bruises left typically last 1-2 weeks, but they will fade as fast as your lymphatic system can process the cellular waste that was built up.

Body cupping vs Facial cupping

Body cupping and facial cupping are based on the same principle of restoration, but they are performed differently and for different reasons. Body cupping is primarily performed to alleviate pain and dark bruises are almost alway left behind, whereas facial cups are meant to rejuvenate and restore without bruising.

Facial cups are much smaller and softer than the big, round cups that are suctioned onto other parts of the body. They are used to gently pull the skin away from the deeper layers of fascia in the face to increase blood flow and rejuvenate the skin without leaving behind the dark bruises that body cupping produces. Facial cupping is a delicate practice that won’t leave any bruising if it is performed correctly.

Benefits of facial cupping

After regular, consistent practice, facial cupping will improve and potentially even diminish the complexion of the skin and fine lines.

The suction effect of facial cups draws blood into the area underneath the cup. This fills the surrounding tissue with fresh blood that will promote new blood vessels to form, which is great for anti-aging.

Facial cupping:

  • Increases oxygen-rich blood circulation
  • Strengths connective tissues
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Alleviate muscle tension

Which will in turn:

  • Brighten skin color
  • Minimize fine lines and scars
  • Tone the chin, jawline and neck
  • Decrease puffiness
  • Regulate oil production

The bottom line

Facial cupping will rejuvenate and restore the skin as it promotes circulation in the lymphatic system, which will result in a decrease of puffiness in the face, and with regular practice, will help to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. While you can do facial cupping at home, finding a practitioner to show you the ropes and answer any questions you have about the practice is highly encouraged for beginners.

The Pain Wall offers both body and facial cupping as a complementary service to our bodywork. If you are interested in cupping, book an appointment with one of our specialists.