BA (hons) Philosophy PGCE. Dip. Ac. MBAcC. YTT
Cupping and Gua Sha are both ancient Chinese medicine techniques. Cupping involves creating a vacuum in glass or plastic cups, either by using a flame to burn out the oxygen inside or using a suction pump. Gua Sha is a scraping massage that uses a special tool made of horn or jade.
Both cupping and Gua Sha may be combined with acupuncture in one treatment, or may be used alone. The vacuum created by cupping may help loosen muscles and encourage blood flow. Cupping may be used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety and even cellulite. For weight loss and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area - 'gliding cupping.' Gua Sha is also helpful for easing tight muscles and involves light scraping over the problem area.
The marks, or Sha, that cupping and Gua Sha may cause vary from light in colour to a deep red. These marks are a normal result of the treatments and will fade in a few days.
For more information about Ruth's acupuncture practice visit her website Ruth Irving Acupuncture Yoga.