NOTE: Grant will be away training in Thailand until December 20.

What is a Cupping Thai massage?

The Thai cupping massage technique uses glass, silicone, or bamboo cups that suction the skin and drag toxins from deep within muscles and soft tissue to the body’s surface.
Women doing traditional Thai massage

Introduction

Thai cupping massage is a traditional bodywork therapy that uses glass, silicone, or bamboo cups to suction the skin. During a cupping massage, a therapist applies the cups to the back, arms, legs, hips, and even other body regions like the stomach, neck, or face. They are placed and left for several minutes or moved up and down the spine with oil.
This negative pressure facilitates the draining of excess fluids and toxins, stimulates the peripheral nervous system, and brings blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin. The suction also loosens adhesions, connective tissue and stubborn knots in soft tissue. Once at the surface of the skin, the lymphatic system can more efficiently dispose of the toxins.
Cupping has been recently made more famous through various Asian bodyworks like Chinese medicine. However, it has a very long history in many cultures as an effective therapy for several ailments, including colds and cases of flu. In Thailand, this style of massage is most common in areas with a sizeable Chinese population, like in Bangkok.

What to Expect

During cupping therapy, the client will feel a slight pressure on the skin as the suction pulls the muscles and fascia into the cup. There is rarely any pain associated with the treatment. If the client does experience discomfort, the practitioner can adjust the suction pressure.
The technique will leave red, blue or purplish marks that should disappear within a few days or weeks. These marks are closer to a hickey and not a bruise, so no pain is usually experienced afterward. The colour that appears is essential information for the practitioner, informing them of the muscles, tissue and or meridian point.
As with the scraping technique, the client must keep the treated area warm and protected from cold and wind after a session.
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