What is cupping?
Cupping is actually a form of myofascial release, performed by placing suction cups on the skin. The cups are left in place for up to 10 minutes at a time. While the cups are on the skin and the skin is pulled up into the cup by the suction, the muscles below the skin are relaxing and connective tissue adhesions are releasing. The suction pulls cellular waste such as lactic acid and stagnant blood to the surface. This is why there are often marks left the once the cups are removed. An experienced Dr. can use the color and texture of these marks to further personalize each patients’ diagnosis, thereby creating a better treatment plan. But this is just the beginning, once this waste is at the surface of the skin, and the cups are removed, the body (kidneys and liver, specifically) will go about their work of removing this waste from the body. Keeping the body adequately hydrated in the following days will help this process greatly. Next, that cellular and metabolic waste that was clogging and congesting the muscle is replaced with fresh, oxygenated blood. This is the beginning of the body’s healing process.
What is Gua Sha?
Gua sha has a similar goal as cupping; to bring waste of the muscles and superficial layers of connective tissue so that the body can replace it with freshly oxygenated blood. Gu sha this is done by scraping with a special tool and oil. The Dr. will scrape over the are repeatedly until it turns red and releases.
Who are the best candidates for this kind of therapy?
These therapies are great for athletes, anyone who works out, or anyone who carries tension or stress in their neck and shoulders or lower back. Cupping and gua sha also work great on the large muscles of the lower legs: quads, hamstrings, and calfs.