For your convenience, educational videos are included on this web-site. These are grouped together under the ‘Educational Videos” tab in the top banner. Watching the videos will help you enhance your technique to optimize results. You’ll see real patients (clients) receiving cupping therapy or practicing using “Cup and Release” on themselves.
You MUST use a viscous coupling agent on the skin to create a strong seal. Badger Balm is a wonderful pain salve that has a pleasant scent & isn’t too greasy. It’s inexpensive and easily found on Amazon for purchase. Another option is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. Remember to buy the balm that comes in a jar (not the lotion which has a water base).
Generally speaking, lotions and oils will not provide enough surface tension for dynamic cupping; the cups will pop off during use. Apply only a thin amount of salve on the skin over the region you wish the cups to adhere to.
The vacuum must be strong enough to hold the cup edges on the skin so the cup can be pulled without popping off.
If the cup pops off, either you have too much salve on the skin or you need to” pinch out” more air for a greater vacuum.
If it won’t slide at all, you either have too little salve or you need to displace less air with the pinch.
You may need to downsize to a smaller cup radius for better cup adherence… large to medium for example.
The cups are NOT APPLIED by pressing down into the body to make the seal.
They are CORRECTLY APPLIED by pinching air out of the dome. You’ll find you need to practice how fast to glide, how much salve to apply, optimum hand placement & best directional patterns. Different regions of the body require different strategies.
It’s BEST TO USE 2 HANDS: use the index finger and thumb of both hands to “pinch” air out of the dome in the large or medium cups. The small cup only requires 1 hand to apply.
If you have a tight limb muscle, PULL AWAY from the body- break the seal- reapply- and start again at the top. Generally, just follow the direction of the muscle and move proximal to distal.
Use in linear sweeps, lateral slides, or diagonally in a cross hatch pattern as desired. You can also let the cup remain stationary while you gently tip the knob handle in the directions you wish to lengthen (ie. the wrist retinaculum or over the patella). When cup easily pull off no matter the technique you employ, these stationary isometric pull variations can be very effective.
If the treatment is uncomfortable, use the other hand to stabilize (immobilize) the skin just pulled above where you are pulling.
If you feel there is a small sprain (tear) in the soft tissue, use the other hand to moderately press down and stabilize that region as you pull the cup over surrounding soft tissue. You might follow up with the application of kinesiotape to functionally immobilize that region for healing. Consult with a PT, or other professional trained in dynamic cupping if you still have questions.
A FINAL NOTE…
The cup is NOT pulled along using a straight upward force on the handle. Instead, slightly TIP the handle in the direction you want to pull and move slowly until you find the best speed to employ. This tipping angle provides the lift effect you need to stretch the connective tissue below.
If used correctly, the cups should NOT cause bruising. You shouldn’t feel pain during or after use although you might initially describe the sensation as “tenderness”. That should disappear quickly. If it doesn’t, contact a physician or therapist.
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