Using Cups to Alleviate Pain and More

Brenda Sizemore and JoyceRemoving Cups from Joyce's BackAdding Cups on Joyce's Lower Leg

As people around the world and also in our county watch the Olympics, many have seen unusual circular marks on the backs of the Olympic athletes.  Caused by a massage therapy called cupping, Brenda Sizemore from Therapy in Motion has seen a large increase in interest for the therapy in Anderson County.

Cupping is an ancient type of massage therapy that involves creating a light suction on the skin.  The method utilizes glass or plastic cups where either air is mechanically removed or heated and then cooled on the skin.

The light suction draws the skin inward inside the cup.  According to Brenda, the method draws blood flow to the area under the cup which then helps heal injuries in the muscles and more. “It brings the blood flow in like crazy,” Brenda said.

Brenda, who is a licensed massage therapist, originally discovered cupping back around 2006 when searching for methods to help people with fibromyalgia.  One article led to another, and she started attending a specific class on the method.  After finishing the class, she brought the method back to Anderson County as part of her massage therapy.

Through her years of experience with the process, she has found that in addition to the added blood flow in the area, the practice also pulls the muscle bundle away from the muscle fiber without causing any harm or pain, except leaving a bruise mark that fades away in under a week.

The cups can be placed almost anywhere on the body, including even on the face to create a facelift effect.  The back, legs and shoulders, however, are very common spots to help alleviate common muscle pains and tightness.  The cupping also helps loosen muscles to allow for deeper massage therapy after the short 7-10 minutes that the cups are kept on the body.

One of Brenda’s clients, Joyce, has found the technique to be quite beneficial.  Joyce, who has had hip surgery and does a lot physical activity, finds it to help alleviate aches and pain.  She also has found that she doesn’t need to see a doctor as often.

However, according to Brenda, the technique isn’t suited for everyone.  For instance, people on blood thinners or on chemo/radiation therapy shouldn’t have cupping done due to risks of heavy bruising or issues with toxic release of the medications.

For all others, Brenda says that the method is quite beneficial, with more and more people wanting to try it.  Many are now showing off the slight temporary marks caused by cupping with pride in knowing that it is helping them.

For more information about cupping, check out Brenda’s website.

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