In fire cupping, a therapist places glass cups against the skin, using heat from a fire source to remove the oxygen and create suction. This is known as “negative pressure.” Cupping massage has a similar effect on muscles as deep tissue massage. The suction of the cup elongates the muscle and breaks down adhesions in the tissue. Instead of applying positive force (i.e. downward pressure), there is a negative force (i.e. suction).
Benefits Of Fire Cupping:
Fire cupping is a highly effective way of releasing the superficial muscle and myofascial tissue or obtaining a deep muscular release. In particular, it can diminish muscle soreness after an intense workout.
Cupping also increases both blood and lymph circulation. This results in a boost to the lymphatic system, which is responsible for collecting and destroying toxic substances that build up in the body. The circulation of fresh lymph nourishes the tissues and generates a boost to the immune system.
Fire Cupping and Trigger Points
Myofascial trigger points are hyper-irritable areas of skeletal muscle and often exist in association with hypersensitive contraction nodules. There is often a taut band of tense muscle fibres that extend from the trigger point to the muscle attachment.
Latent trigger points do not hurt unless they are pressed, but do cause increased muscle tension and muscle shortening, which restricts movement and weakens the muscle.
Active trigger points cause referred pain and other symptoms in expected pain pattern locations. When the muscle is moved, pain will occur and then may even remain while the muscle is at rest.
Trigger points can be difficult to release and may need several treatments to fully release them. Using a strong suction directly over the trigger point and additional cups on the affected muscles, releasing the trigger point 3-4 times during a treatment can speed up the process of a complete trigger point release.