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Cupping is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to treat those with physical afflictions. While there are several techniques, Ali uses dry cupping in her practice.

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Here’s how dry cupping works:

Negative pressure is created against our tissues using cups to allow for increased blood flow to an area. This is important because we often overwork our muscles and perform repetitive tasks, which creates tension, and blood can become stagnant if our muscles are tense for an extended period of time. This applies to athletes, people who work at a desk or are sitting most of the day, people who do a lot of driving, people who are always on their feet, etc. Basically, our muscles can become tense for a vast number of reasons, which means we probably have tension and stagnant blood somewhere in our bodies.

 

*Stagnant blood refers to blood that is stagnant in our tissues, and not blood that is flowing through our veins.

 

Cupping helps remove this blood in our tissues by creating negative pressure, which, in turn, creates space for more blood flow.

Since we are removing the stagnant blood, fresh blood is finally able to enter the area and bring fresh oxygen and nutrients. 

 

In addition to allowing for more blood flow, cupping pulls the fascia and superficial muscle into the cup through suction. If an area is tense, cupping will help to release that tension through a gentle myofascial release. As the cups are released, you may feel less tension and pain.

 

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What to expect:

After warming up the area with massage, we will place cups over the area in need. You will feel your skin and superficial muscles being pulled into the cup as we create negative pressure. We use light - medium pressure and will always check in to make sure you are comfortable with the pressure used. Cups are left on for about 5 minutes while you relax on the table, and once released, you’ll feel the difference immediately. 

 

You will see a reddish, purplish circle where the cup was. Sometimes, this spot is light and may go away after a few hours, but often, especially if it’s your first time, spots may be dark and appear “bruised.” Slight tenderness is normal, though clients usually do not feel any sensation at the site of the “bruise.” These spots usually go away within a week, but darker spots can take longer.

 

If you have any questions, please reach out via my contact page or Instagram @ascentbodyworkrva.

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