Cupping is an alternative therapy that originated from China. This type of therapy involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction is believed to help facilitate healing with blood flow and circulation. This may relieve muscle tension, improve overall blood flow, and promote cell repair. It is believed that cupping helps with balancing yin and yang (Chinese Philosophy), or the negative and positive, within the body. By restoring the balance within the body, the body is able to combat pathogens, increase blood flow, and reduce pain.
Gua Sha is part of traditional Chinese medicine. The practitioner uses a tool to scrape the individual’s skin to stimulate microcirculation to the soft tissue. Repetitive scraping action causes tissue damage and is believed to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. Chinese practitioners believe stagnant energy (Chi) in the body is the reason for inflammation, and inflammation is the underlying cause of many types of pain. Gua Sha is believed to release that energy.