Cupping & Gua Sha (Scraping)

Both Cupping and Gua Sha are part of traditional acupuncture treatments.

Cupping therapy is currently trending, thanks to Olympians Michael Phelps (swimmer) and Alex Naddour (gymnast). But this ancient healing technique is actually thousands of years old.

Cupping involves suction cups that create a vacuum, pulling the skin upward and expanding the blood vessels. Traditionally, the vacuum was created by fire; today therapists use a rubber pump. The pump can be moved from place to place over the body creating a massage sensation. Some people say its like an inverse massage because, rather than applying pressure into the body, as is done in a massage, cupping therapy pulls the skin, tissue and muscles upwards.

The use of heat pulls toxins out of the body, resulting in a cleansing effect that promotes renewed energy and therefore, whole body healing. Proponents of the cupping therapy claim that it can treat high blood pressure, migraines, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, skin issues including acne and eczema, and ease depression and anxiety. The only side effects are redness left on the skin, possibly bruises, and some people feel mild pain during the procedure.

Gua Sha is a technique whereby the therapist uses a tool to scrape across the skin in order to literally scrape away pain and bad energy. This rubbing sore areas increases the blood flow to the target areas and results in a reduction of pain. The process leaves red marks on the skin for a few days.

Both Cupping Therapy and Gua Sha are healing techniques that coordinate with acupuncture.