Cupping uses specialized glass cups to release tension and pain, alleviate the symptoms of menstrual, digestive and respiratory issues such as cramps, asthma, flu, etc. The air in the cup is heated by a flame before the cup is placed on the skin. As the air cools, a vacuum is created which pulls the underlying fascia, stimulating fresh blood and lymph circulation to the area. Though the procedure is painless, slight bruising where the cups were placed is normal and expected.
Gua sha is also called “scraping therapy”. With firm pressure, the smooth edge of a specialized tool is “scraped” on the surface of the skin along meridian pathways. This removes local stagnation and promotes circulation and metabolic processes. The result is often immediate relief from symptoms such as pain, stiffness, cough, and fever. Like cupping, small red petechiae are likely to appear on the skin. This may be slightly tender, but not painful.