Massage Cupping


"Massage Cupping" is a modality I have very limited knowledge of. It's also something that has a ton of different instructors and ways to perform the technique. Like other massage techniques, therapists always have their own unique way of performing the modality. Here's an interview I did with Kristie Davis, LMT. She obtained a National Certification in Ace MediCupping.  What is cupping? Medicupping is the act of using a cup and/ or bulb along with a machine or gun to vacuum tissue into the cup. By creating suction and vacuum pressure, Massage Cupping is used to soften tight muscles and tone attachments, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, move deep inflammation to the skin surface for release, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.  I know you chose Ace Medicupping to get your verification. Why did you choose that program?Going through ACE, Anita Shannon is the originator of the gun technique, they have their own branded equipment and taking the classes through them not only gave me the how and why of cupping, but also the knowledge of the equipment. Getting certified in class gave me the advantage of watching a demonstration and performing in front of an educator and a better learning quality. How can cupping help my back pain? What else can cupping help with?Cupping can help with back pain by using negative pressure to get to deeper muscles faster and with less pain to the client. Unlike traditional massage you're able to separate and reduce adhesions in deeper tissue easier and quicker. It's helpful for clients with chronic pain or acute pain.  If you can receive massage you can receive cupping. It also aides in removing scar tissue and is good for pre and post op. Cupping also helps to  reduce cellulite. Because there is less pain on sensitive areas you're able to work more effectively since the client has less of a chance tensing up during treatment. It increases circulation, relieves pain, and releases built up or stagnant blood and toxins that can be in muscle tissue. Just like in traditional massage you move lymph fluid, cupping does allow for this to be done more effectively. What kind of cups do you use? I use polycarbonate cups that use a gun to pull the vacuum. What is the difference between fire cupping, manual vacuum cupping, and gliding cupping?Fire cupping and vacuum cupping are essentially the same. Only difference is fire is placed in the cup to remove oxygen which is what creates the vacuum once it's placed on the skin. “Gliding cupping” is not a type of cupping just a movement used with the cups and it can be done with whatever types of cups you use. It's when you place the cups on the skin you lift and glide, the cup glides along the tissue. Does it hurt? What will it feel like?It shouldn't hurt. You start it just like you do a regular massage only pulling a small amount of vacuum and gradually increase based on the client. It will feel differently than massage since you are lifting tissue but it's not a bad sensation.What will I feel after the cupping? After cupping you shouldn't feel anything different than a regular massage. You will feel a heating sensation during and maybe a little after but that's only because the blood is being circulated through the tissue and brought to the surface. Will I have bad bruises?It's not actually bruising it's called a "kiss" and typically you wouldn't unless you have a substantial amount of stagnancy in the tissue of either blood or any other fluid. Any final thoughts?All in all cupping is amazing work. I've received it and absolutely loved it! 

Kristie Davis, LMT is primarily at our Tyndall location, but she occasionally makes guest appearances at the Jenks office. She's an avid Cowboys fan (I don't hold that against her), Tyndall spouse, and mother of 3 active kids. She is super passionate about the integrity of our profession and is an awesome therapist. You can schedule an appointment with her online at, just be sure to choose the Tyndall office.