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What is Massage Cupping?

THE ART OF ACE MASSAGE CUPPING™ BODYWORK THERAPY

BY ANITA SHANNON

A wonderful ancient technique has found its place in the modern world of healing.  ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork is based on the common practice of cupping therapy, and the incredible results that this simple treatment produces have truly impressed those who experience its subtle power.  By creating suction and negative pressure, ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy is used to soften tight muscles and tone attachments, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.  ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork is versatile and can easily be modified to accomplish a range of techniques, from lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.  This complements many health modalities ranging from spa treatments to medical massage.

ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork is fun and result-oriented ... and the treatment FEELS GREAT!

How is ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy accomplished?  The cup is positioned over the area of the body to be treated and suction is created using a vacuum gun or bulb.  The more traditional method involves inserting a flame into a glass cup to create the vacuum.  The suction level can range from light to heavy, and the movements performed by the therapist can be stimulating or sedating.

What is the difference between ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork and traditional Chinese cupping therapy?  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stationary cups are placed on the skin and left for a period of five to fifteen minutes, and the cups may also be moved over the area.  The goal of Chinese cupping therapy is to move stagnation of blood and chi, disperse internal heat, and other applications based on Traditional Chinese Medical diagnostics.  Traditional cupping therapies are also generally used in many cultures on both adults and children for respiratory conditions, pain relief, and multiple other uses in home health care.

ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy is a more commonly used tool for massage therapists and other healthcare practitioners.  Before applying the cup, the therapist will administer oil or lotion to facilitate smooth movement.  The entire back may be treated, including the neck, shoulders, middle and lower back, and sacral area.  The hip and thigh areas may also be treated, and abdominal Massage Cupping™ bodywork feels just incredible.  Almost every area of the body responds to this unique treatment.

How does ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy feel?  The sensation is truly indescribable, often experienced as deep warmth and a tingling sensation lasting long after the treatment has ended.  The action on the nervous system is sedating, and people will often descend into a profound state of relaxation.  The body comes alive, and new ease of movement can truly be felt.

What are the benefits of ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork?  Ace Massage Cupping™ therapy is not an irritant to the skin or body.  It draws the inflammation out, yet does not add to it.  The skin will turn red with strong movements, indicating that circulation has been brought to the surface.  Application of liniments, analgesics, plant hydrosols and essential oil blends immediately after ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork will enable absorption of the product deep into the tissue.  Increased local blood supply to the muscles and skin will bring nourishment and allow for toxins to be carried away via the veins.  Conditions of chronic and acute pain can be relieved with minimal discomfort and tense muscles softened quickly and easily.  ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy is wonderfully effective as an addition to a massage or other therapeutic service.

Another effective application of ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork is in the treatment of cellulite.  A very light suction provides drainage, while heavier application can be used to stimulate circulation and loosen adhesions or "dimpling."  The thighs and hip region should be treated prior to a wrapping procedure to enhance the absorption of product.  Enjoy the feeling of warm, energized skin being painted with soothing algae, mud or gel before being enveloped.

Treatments using ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy include a revolutionary face lifting and drainage treatment and magnetic micro-cup reflexology for the feet and hands.  The magnetic equipment is showing great results in the treatment of injury sites, neuropathy and pain.

Why should I request ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork?  One of the most enjoyable aspects of experiencing this therapy is the incredibly wide range of movements.  Creativity provides a variety of methods, while alteration of pressure and speed produces amazingly different sensations.  The edge of the cup can be used to "scoop" in a cross fiber movement.  Vigorous circles feel marvelous on the hips, thighs and shoulders.  Long strokes down the sides of the spine and along the ribs provide ease to rib cage expansion and breathing.  Stubborn neck tension can be released in mere minutes and scar tissue softened using a "reverse friction" technique.

People often report that the experience stayed with them longer than most treatments, and the speed with which ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork effects change in the tissue is truly amazing.  When used in a treatment series, the results are cumulative.  Yet even in a single treatment, a long-term physical issue may be resolved!  Applications for this technique include body contouring, chronic pain relief, pre-surgery prepping and post-surgery recovery (face and body), detoxification, and increased sports performance.  Conditions that have responded to ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy include colon disorders, edema, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, cellulite, nervous tension, and many more!

What is the discoloration that occurs after some treatments?  There is a "marked" difference between traditional Chinese cupping therapy and ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork.  The marks that are commonly left from TCM treatments are the desired result.  ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy very rarely produces this discoloration, called a "cup kiss" or "doo-hickey."  If this appears during the treatment, it's just an added bonus indicating the release of intense stagnation (body fluids and toxins) in the area.  This is not a bruise and will dissipate anywhere between a few hours and a few days.  It is also unlikely that it will re-occur in the same area.

Is ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy safe?  This technique is used safely on children, adults, and elderly persons.  The most common misuse of ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy is overuse.  This is an intense therapy, and its impact on the body systems is significant.  In particular, the elderly, children, and persons with diabetes and those on blood thinners should be treated gently.  After any ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy treatment, it is important to avoid exposure to excessive heat or cold, and sufficient hydration is required to facilitate elimination.  A complete assessment of specific conditions at the time of treatment must be taken into consideration by the practitioner.

ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork seems easy to do, but it is not simple.  To achieve maximum results safely, training is required.  The current workshops are 22 hours to complete, and educational videos/DVDs and books are available.  When scheduling treatment, look for a Certified ACE Massage Cupping™ Practitioner (CAMCP).

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