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The Time I Tried Cupping Therapy like an Olympian

Cupping Therapy Massage in Sylvania Ohio

How do you release your stress? Ben & Jerry's pint? Bottle of Chardonnay? Maybe something a little healthier like a Yoga class or even a relaxing massage?

However you cope with the hectic schedule of mom life or a crazy week at work, you might consider cupping therapy as a part of your massage. It's really old, like thousands of years old, but it's getting popular again. Maybe you have seen Olympic athletes with the marks on their back?


I am no athlete, but I really really love cupping.

I tried cupping therapy at Massage Therapy Center of Sylvania as a part of my regular massage appointment. I was curious to see how much of an improvement I would see, primarily with some plantar fasciitis pain I have in my left foot from ankle surgery I had a year ago. I also had Tonya Snyr, L.M.T. use the cups on my upper back to help with my neck and shoulder pain. I want to tell you more about cupping before I show you my silly pictures...

What is cupping therapy massage and how can it improve your health?

Chinese medicine practitioners have been using cupping for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health problems. It is designed to help the body reduce inflammation by using suction. Think of it kind of like getting a massage in reverse. Cupping pulls your tissues up and away instead of someone pressing down. It really gets your blood moving and helps your circulation.

What is cupping used for?

Cupping obviously improves circulation, but can also help with skin and breathing issues, pain, inflammation, muscle tension, and scar tissue and adhesions.

How does it help?

In Chinese medicine, pain is viewed as stagnation or something that isn’t moving. “If you have an injury, the swelling sometimes just sits there, or if you have arthritis, the inflammation doesn’t go anywhere...cupping massage can help the body reabsorb the fluid and move the swelling out of the area.

What does it look like?

Cups used in cupping look like glass or plastic snow globe-like balls that range in size from three-quarters of an inch to four inches in diameter. They’re placed on the skin while air is removed by a pump or by lighting a flame inside of the cup to create a small vacuum. At Massage Therapy Center of Sylvania, Tonya uses plastic cups and a vacuum pump. Not only is it a safer method and prevents burns, but the pump also allows for a more customizable experience allowing a stronger or weaker suction depending on patient tolerance and sensitivity of the area.

Is it painful?

Cupping for me was not terribly painful, but some of the cups were uncomfortable. The cupping done on my ankle was surprisingly not painful. The cups were on the sole of my foot and on my calf muscle. It actually felt really good to have the tissue stretched and moved around since my surgery made that area really tight. Cups placed on my mid-back and shoulder blades were a little more painful, and in turn, the marks left by the cups were darker and stayed darker a little longer. I never experienced marks on my leg. The great thing about the vacuum cupping method is that Tonya can lessen the pressure and easily move the cup if you are experiencing a sensation you really don't like.

"I have some pain afterward, but it's almost like a sore to the touch pain rather than a muscle tension pain. The tissue is a lot softer after my cupping session, its a feeling of relief" Says Tonya about her experience in cupping on her upper back. "Sometimes you have to endure the pain to get rid of the pain. Massage is funny like that, if you want to really address your pain issues, sometimes manipulation of the deeper layers of tissue doesn't feel great at first, but it does after a day or so. The original pain melts away"

How do I get started with cupping?

You can easily add cupping to your regular massage therapy appointment with Tonya at Massage Therapy Center of Sylvania. You can also get cupping on your problem areas in shorter sessions as a stand alone treatment a few times per week.

I am not going to fool anyone into thinking I am an Olympic athlete with my cupping marks, but It is a great conversation starter! I love to tell people how cupping has helped my ankle pain and scar tissue. Cupping Therapy has also made a difference in my neck and shoulder pain and lessened my migraines! I promised my pictures, as embarrassing as they are, but I am such a believer in cupping I want to make you feel comfortable and confident giving it a try.

If you are interested in Cupping Therapy in Sylvania, give Tonya Snyr L.M.T. a call at 419-705-4994 today and see how cupping massage can help you!

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