Cupping and Gua Sha are two techniques that have been used for thousands of years. These modalities can be used as a stand alone treatment, but more often they are used as part of an Acupuncture or Massage treatment. Both of these techniques help to break up adhesions in the body’s fascia.
Cupping is a technique which a vacuum is created inside of a cup, then placed on the skin. Traditionally cups made of glass are used, and a vacuum is created by igniting an alcohol soaked cotton ball. However your practitioner may choose to use cups made of silicone or plastic. Either way – the idea is the same. Tissue is pulled up inside the cup in order to draw blood to the area and take pressure off tight, sore muscles. Cupping can leave characteristic red/purple marks which can last anywhere from a few hours, to a few weeks.
Gua Sha (刮痧) is a technique which employs the use of flat tools made of metal, jade or ceramics. This tool is “scraped” across the skin the produce red markings or “petechiae.” Like cupping, Gua Sha improves circulation, decreases inflammation, and can aid in healing and recovery of injuries.