By Anita Shannon
ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ therapies are proving to be incredibly effective approaches to face and body contouring services. By creating suction and negative pressure these techniques are used to drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, and bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin. This versatile method can easily be modified to accomplish a range of techniques, including lymphatic drainage.
One of the most amazing aspects of these techniques is the “separation” that the vacuum produces in tissue layers. This enables water absorption and renewed blood flow to dehydrated undernourished tissue, which is invaluable in body contouring treatments. Separation of tissue can be a huge catalyst for change as the body begins to eliminate chronic congestion and lymph becomes more fluid.
How is ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy accomplished? The cup is positioned over the area of the body to be treated and suction is created using a vacuum gun. The more traditional method involves inserting a flame into a glass cup to create the vacuum. The suction level can range from light to heavy, and the movements performed by the therapist can be stimulating or sedating.
What is the difference between ACE Massage Cupping™ therapy and Traditional Chinese Cupping Therapy? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stationary cups are placed on the skin and left for a period of five to fifteen minutes. The goal of Chinese cupping therapy is to move stagnation of blood and chi, disperse internal heat, and other applications based on Traditional Chinese Medical diagnostics. Another technique is “moving cups”. In TCM, this is used to raise the “sha” to the surface when treating large areas. In Europe, stationary cupping is also used in the home on both adults and children for respiratory conditions. In many countries, cups are frequently found on pharmacy shelves and in home medicine cabinets for family use.
In ACE Massage Cupping™, the pracitioner will administer oil or lotion to facilitate smooth movement. The entire back may be treated, including the neck, shoulders, middle and lower back, and sacral area. The hip and thigh areas may also be treated, and abdominal Massage Cupping™ feels just incredible. The technique consists of specific movements and protocols to enable the therapist to easily facilitate change for the client!
What is MediCupping™ therapy?
This term describes the use of incredibly versatile mechanical equipment to perform techniques based on Massage Cupping™ practice and theory. This equipment is more appropriate for spas, medical spas, and medical offices. There are many reputable pieces OF equipment on the market today for face and body contouring, and the model used for MediCupping™ therapy has demonstrated a high level of efficacy due to design features that allow the practitioner to customize the therapy as well as document settings and results.
What are the benefits of ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ therapies? The skin will turn pink with vigorous movements, indicating that the circulation has been brought to the surface. Application of topical products immediately after treatment will enable the absorption of the product deep into the tissue. The increased local blood supply to the muscles and skin will bring nourishment and allow for toxins to be carried away via the veins, making these therapies wonderfully effective as an addition to a massage, body treatment, or other therapeutic service.
An effective application of this technique is in the treatment of cellulite. A very light suction provides drainage, while heavier application can be used to stimulate circulation and loosen adhesions or “dimpling.” The body should be treated prior to a wrapping procedure to enhance the absorption of product. Clients enjoy the warm feeling of energized tissue being painted with soothing algae, mud or gel before being enveloped.
The ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ techniques include a highly effective Face Lifting and Drainage Treatment and a Body Contouring Cocoon treatment. Difference can be seen and felt directly after the session, and should continue to progress for the next few days. The Face Lifting and Drainage Treatments have produced spectacular results that are often evident immediately after treating one half of the face. Each successive treatment on the face and body enables the lymphatic system to activate, and tissues to receive nourishment and hydration. What a great treatment program for pre- and post-operative conditions!
How does this therapy feel? The sensation is truly indescribable. People often experience deep warmth and a tingling sensation long after the treatment has ended. The action on the nervous system is sedating and people will often descend into a profound state of relaxation. The presence of a deep snore is common!
People often report that the experience stayed with them longer than most treatments, and the speed with which these therapies effect change in texture of the tissue is truly amazing. When used in a treatment series, the results are cumulative. Yet even in a single treatment, a long-term physical issue may be resolved. Applications for these techniques include body contouring, scar tissue treatment, pre-surgery prepping and post-surgery recovery (face and body), and more. Conditions that have responded well include edema, cellulite, spider veins and varicosities, weight loss issues, and many more.
What is the discoloration that occurs after some treatments? There is a “marked” difference between Traditional Chinese Cupping and the ACE Massage Cupping™ or MediCupping™ techniques. The marks that are commonly left from Chinese Medical treatments are the desired result. ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ very rarely produce this discoloration, called a “cup kiss” or “doo-hickey.” If this appears during the treatment, it’s just an added bonus indicating release of intense stagnation of body fluid and toxins in the area. This is not a bruise and will dissipate anywhere between a few hours and a few days. It is also unlikely that it will re-occur in the same area.
Are ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ therapies safe? These methods are used safely on children, adults and elderly persons. The most common misuse of these techniques is overuse. These are intense therapies, and impact on the body systems is significant. In particular, children, the elderly, persons with diabetes and those on blood thinners should be treated gently. After any ACE Massage Cupping™ or MediCupping™ treatment, it is important to avoid exposure to excessive heat or cold, and sufficient hydration is required to facilitate elimination. The practitioner must take a complete assessment of specific conditions at the time of treatment into consideration.
ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping therapies are easy techniques to do, but they are not simple. To achieve maximum results safely, training is required. Workshops, educational DVDs and manuals are available. A great way to determine if this therapy is appropriate for your business is to schedule a treatment for yourself. Be sure to check that the practitioner is certified in these modalities for the best experience, or visit a booth at a national convention for a demonstration!
Treat your clients to an effective and pleasurable way to regain a
healthy appearance and feeling of vitality!
Just ask them….. “How fluid does your body feel?”
ANITA J. SHANNON is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a 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 major 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, an NCBTMB CE provider, and has presented numerous workshops on ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ at national locations since creating these brands of therapy in 2002. Anita has been published in Les Nouvelles Esthetique-US, Massage Today and Massage Magazine. She has published five educational videos on ACE Massage Cupping™, MediCupping™ and TheraCupping™ and is currently writing a book on VacuTherapies™.
Copyright 2008 Anita J Shannon and TheraCupping™, LLC