There are many reasons people come to see us here at Tiny Needles, but among the top are for the management of stress (in its various manifestations) as well as for the management of back pain, whether it be upper, mid, low or whole back pain.
Cupping is included in the ancient folk tradition that is Chinese Medicine and it has myriad benefits. Primarily, it is useful for extracting what we call "stagnation" in the muscles and energetic channels, which is considered the root cause of most painful conditions according to TCM (short for Traditional Chinese Medicine).
People often wonder if cupping is painful, and the answer to that question is, "it depends". It depends on how painful your particular condition is, how generally sensitive you might be to touch such as massage, as well as the strength of the cupping technique itself. We can always adjust the level of suction to suit your needs and this conversation will be a part of your assessment and treatment.
At Tiny Needles we do a combination of moving and stationary cupping, which is basically what it sounds like.
We apply coconut oil to the skin when we do moving cupping, so that we can slide the cups along the muscles, creating a "reverse" massage sensation. Instead of kneading or pressing, we are pulling up on the muscles. This part should feel good, comfortable and relaxing.
The second part, with stationary cups, is the "heavy lifting", and where the deeper work comes in. It may mirror a bit the experience of a deep-tissue massage.
We place 8-12 stationary cups at strategic locations along the musculature of the back and let them sit for about 10 minutes, to extract stagnation and help relieve pressure and tension.
The method we use at Tiny Needles:
We use tongs to hold an alcohol-soaked cotton ball, which we then light on fire. This flaming cotton ball is placed inside the glass cup to consume any present oxygen. We then remove the cotton ball and quickly apply the cup to the musculature on your back. The lack of oxygen creates a vacuum, which then creates a suction, allowing the cup to adhere to the muscle.
You may leave a cupping treatment with dark circular marks. These marks, although sometimes dramatic-looking, are not painful, and will disappear within 3-7 days.
There is nothing quite like a cupping treatment. It is powerful in its ability to relieve tension and alleviate pain. If you hold a lot of your stress or have a lot of pain in your upper or lower back, consider booking a session today.
Your body will thank you.