By Anita Shannon
Therapists who have explored the use of vacuum therapies in bodywork have found that the addition of suction and lifting to other massage techniques has produced radical changes for clients and for themselves. One of the most amazing aspects of this technique is the “separation” that the vacuum produces in tissue layers. This enables water absorption and renewed blood flow to undernourished and dehydrated tissue as well as the elimination of old waste and congestion. It has become evident that separation and drainage of fused, congested soft tissue produces an increase in tissue and systemic function and is a great catalyst for change in health.
Every injury, illness and surgery—and even the toxic substances that the body has been exposed to from conception forward—may still be present in the tissues. The body is brilliant in its efforts to protect itself from the effects of personal history, yet its capacity is limited. The body has to store that which it cannot process and eliminate. The result is an accumulation of materials, such as old medications, inflammatory agents, cellular wastes and acids in stagnant lymph fluid.
Each body reacts uniquely to this accumulation of debris and stagnation, and we can see examples of degeneration occurring at younger ages more than ever before. Ordinarily healthy people become fatigued and sluggish due to the cumulative effects of their lifestyle and eventually move into the dis-eased state. This may help to explain the high level of auto-immune disorders that we see on client intake forms.
This unrecognized pathological condition is affecting a large segment of the population and could be a key component of disease and degeneration, allergies and addictions, as well as obesity and toxicity. The condition is “Solid Bloat” and often manifests as weight gain or cellulite, and can eventually lead to serious health issues. Working with vacuum therapies not only effectively assists in eliminating years of Solid Bloat accumulation; it also provides information about the cause and nature of the condition.
Consider the person who cannot lose weight, whether slightly overweight to clinically obese and undergoing surgical procedures. What a gift to their self esteem to finally find out that part of the problem has been Solid Bloat. What a great treatment for a client to have old C-section scars comfortably released, and the restored lymph flow to the upper inguinal nodes significantly diminishing the large belly that she had carried around for years.
Creating space in the existing tissue and any surgical scarring for the lymphatic system to re-establish itself, releasing old inflammation from past medical procedures and injuries, and changing the PH and polarity of the tissue so that it can heal is of crucial value, yet the emotional and energetic healing is also of great importance.
Along with the substantial health benefits of clearing old debris and releasing scar tissue, the use of suction is invaluable for restricted soft tissue and fascia. Sports professionals are benefitting from the ease of recovery from injury or surgery and an increase in athletic performance, and major league sports teams are utilizing the therapy.
Vacuum therapies provide a wonderful bridge to the medical community, with special applications for pre- and post-surgery conditions, chiropractic and orthopedic work, conditions associated with Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia, and much more. Results are fast and comfortable for the client and practitioner, and noticeably impressive to medical professionals.
Having a tool that assists in evaluation and also provides the most comfortable and effective methods of affecting client health at such a profound level is of major benefit to today’s therapists. The results are often dramatic and visible, since vacuum therapies work nicely with the homeostatic mechanisms of the body. The addition of such adjunct therapies as aromatherapy, taping and magnetic micro-cups can become a complete tool box for working with an extremely wide variety of client conditions.
These techniques are used safely on children, adults and elderly persons. The most common misuse of vacuum therapy is overuse. This is an intense treatment, and its impact on the body systems is significant. The elderly, children, persons with diabetes, and those on blood thinners should be treated gently. After any treatment with vacuum therapies, it is important to avoid exposure to excessive heat or cold, and sufficient hydration is required to facilitate elimination. A complete assessment of specific conditions at the time of treatment must be taken into consideration by the practitioner.
Vacuum therapy seems easy to do, but it is not simple. To achieve maximum results safely, training is required, and there are workshops and educational videos/DVDs available. One of the best aspects of mastering these techniques is practicing on yourself, and really experiencing the results!
Think of the impact of clearing and opening the body systems all the way down to a cellular level, as well as releasing old structural compensatory patterns that are no longer beneficial. A new cycle begins with the replication of healthier cells turning into healthier systems … a recaptured homeostasis that leads to wellness, despite age or history.
ANITA J. SHANNON is a Licensed Massage Therapist and licensed Cosmetologist since 1983, specializing in skin care, body treatments, clinical Aromatherapy and various modalities of massage therapy. She is a national educator since 1990, appearing at numerous national Spa and Massage conventions each year, and appeared as a co-host for four years on the television show “Health Options Today” with Dr. Mitchell Ghen.
Anita is the Director of Advanced Continuing Education (ACE), an NCBTMB CE provider established in 2001, and has presented numerous workshops on ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ at national locations since 2002. Anita has been published on this subject in Massage Today, in Massage Magazine and in Les Nouvelles Esthetiques. She has published two educational videos on ACE Massage Cupping™ bodywork, two on MediCupping™ therapy and one on TheraCupping™ home care, and is currently writing a book on VacuTherapies™.