Cupping and Gua Sha
Cupping is used to relieve muscle tension and activate the immune system. A vacuum is created by heating the inside of a glass cup which is then applied to the skin. This action creates a suction of muscle and tissue inside of the cup. Cupping strongly stimulates circulation and eliminates stagnation, thereby relieving pain and facilitating the healing process. Many patients compare it to a deep-tissue massage. Note: Cupping often produces superficial redness that typically lasts from 2 to 5 days. These discolorations are not painful, but you may find them unsightly.
Gua Sha is an ancient technique used to create friction on the skin. The purpose of this treatment is to relieve muscle tension and pain by stimulating peripheral blood flow. It also activates the body’s immune system, similar to cupping (see cupping above).
Gua Sha tools are flat-edged metal, ceramic or porcelain instruments. Like cupping, many patients compare Gua Sha to deep tissue massage. Note: Gua Sha produces local warmth and redness which may last for several days.