FIRST, Cupping is not a painful treatment. Depending on the amount of stagnation, it can feel "pinchy" or "pulley" The suction can be adjusted for comfort and still be effective. As with Facial Gua Sha, Facial Cupping is showing up in many spas (including Central Coast Red Coral Spa) and at-home routines due to great skin health benefits, however Cupping along the body is a form of therapy used on joints or tight muscles to bring up deep set stagnation. This method promotes circulation of blood and Qi and nourishes muscles. Redness, or even a dark purple color that appears due to cupping shows a POSITIVE change in the flow of Qi in a person's body. Cupping is known to leave circular marks along the area treated for a few days to a few weeks, but is not damaging or painful. In fact, it helps to REDUCE pain. It is excellent for athletes, long term chronic pain, repetitive stress injuries and arthritic-like conditions, to name a few. It can "bring up" stagnation that lies deeper than what Gua Sha can bring up, and the darker the color the more stagnation and possible pain was in the area that is being relieved!
Pictures below show some body cupping, you can see darker marks where there was more stagnation. Anywhere from pink to purple marks is a good response, and result, from cupping. After marks fade away, one can return for another treatment.
BENEFITS: pain relief, increases suppleness of stiff tendons, muscles and joints, increases blood flow and synovial fluid in joints, relieves heat and inflammation, breaks up adhesions; improves overall health for those with high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety & depression, fibromyalgia, skin problems (rashes, acne, eczema), breaks up cellulite, detoxifies body, stretches fascia and builds energy - just to name a few!