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In cup therapy, special cups are used to apply a decompression force to an area of the body that is experiencing limited range of motion or pain due to trigger points in the muscle. A vacuum effect is created with the cups that elevates the soft-tissues beneath it, causing increased blood flow and nutrient exchange and allowing the tissues to move more freely after therapy is complete.
What to Expect
The affected area will be draped appropriately. Lotion is then applied to increase comfort, and the cups are placed using a device that creates a vacuum. Clients may experience sensations of tightness or pulling; however, cup pressure will not be set past the client’s comfort level. The client will then be asked to perform certain simple motions. After therapy, clients normally experience an area of discoloration at the site of cup placement. The discoloration should disappear in 5-7 days.
Cup therapy sessions are usually incorporated at the end of an Active Release Techniques® session. However, a stand-alone cup therapy session lasts about 15 minutes.
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What to Wear
Active wear is preferable for all therapy sessions. With cup therapy, it is sometimes necessary to remove clothing. Draping sheets will be used in those situations.