Cupping has been around for thousands of years, it can trace roots back to ancient China and Egypt. In fact, cupping was even documented in one of the oldest medical textbooks, written is 1550 BC. These days it is mostly used for pain relief. Research has been done that suggests fire cupping does indeed have benefits when it comes to pain relief, but further studies need to be carried out to give this more consideration.
The cupping procedure involves placing round glass cups on the skin. The cup has been treated on the inside with rubbing alcohol, which is then ignited by a flame and when the opening encounters the skin a seal forms, snuffing the flame and the hot air as it quickly cools creates a suction. This suction encourages blood flow, and the increased circulation promotes healing and reduces pain response.
The cups are left on the skin for several minutes, this is what creates the slight bruising effect to the skin. These bruises need no special treatment and will fade on their own in about a week. Some people call them “tentacle” markings because of the positioning in which cups are usually placed.
After treatment, my clients have reported an immediate benefit, generally referencing a reduced pain level from that perceived before treatment began. Fire-cupping is both relaxing and invigorating. It is exciting to experience, and most recipients are eager to participate in further treatment. In fact, finding people to practice on has never been an issue!
What to expect from a fire cupping treatment:
In similar fashion to a massage, we will check in before we begin, and talk about where to focus the treatment, shoulders, hips, etc, whatever is most ailing at the time. Then I will leave the room and allow you to remove clothing on the upper portion of your body, and get comfortable on the massage table, laying on your stomach. When you are ready, I will return and gently begin treatment. This starts with a thin layer of baby oil being rubbed across your back, so that moving the cups once they have been placed is easier to achieve. Then there will be a controlled open flame used to ignite the cup manually before I place it on your skin. Once all cups have been placed, there will be several minutes to relax into the stimulation from the cups. If you are looking for deeper massage-like sensations from any specific area, the cups can be slid across the skin, maintaining the seal and creating a line of suction.
After an amount of time determined between the client and myself, I will begin gently breaking the suction seal on the cups and removing them one at a time. Once they have been removed, I will invite you to lay for as short or as long as you need, while I again step out of the room. I truly mean, if you need to lay for an extra 10 minutes or more, there is no problem. It is a very relaxing experience and if you need to take that time, please do! Once you are dressed, you’ll let me know and I’ll return to discuss what you liked, or maybe liked less about the experience, and we can book your next appointment!
Like with many other alternative medicines, it is important to note: fire cupping is absolutely NOT a substitute for proven treatments for life-threatening conditions. Generally speaking, fire cupping is offered in the realm of massage therapy, hot stone treatment, and Reiki.