Casey-ca wrote:Is it always painful? Does it always leave behind marks?
Do massage therapist need to have more schooling to do this kind of massage?
From my experience, no it is not always painful. I had a client who I used cupping on and she never had any pain with them and the marks were very faint if any; they rarely lasted more than a few hours. But, she also saw me every week as well as seeing a Chiropractor so she had pretty healthy muscles. I on the other hand, rarely get a massage (I know
) and the few times I've had my boyfriend cup my back have been extremely painful for me. I've found that the tighter the muscles, the more oxygen deprived they are, and the marks are much darker and will last much longer (I've had faint marks after several weeks!).
I would suggest getting an instructional DVD at the very least if you can't take a course. I was introduced to cupping in an intensive Shiatsu CE course. I bought a cheap set and practiced a bit on the bf and willing clients. I also bought Anita Shannon's "Massage Cupping" DVD which you can find here: http://www.massagecupping.com/
which you have the option of obtaining CE credits if you pay for and complete the exam. It seems to be more about "massage" cupping (sliding the cups on the body) instead of traditional cupping, but she gives you a lot of good information.
I also have a DVD called "Moxibustion and Cupping Techniques" which was done by Professor Xu Hengze of the Nanjing University of TCM. (Moxibustion was something we did while in school which is why I bought the DVD.) I actually haven't watched it in years so I can't say much about it, but it's be worth checking out for the more traditional aspects.
Keep in mind that some insurance policies will only cover the hand pump method of cupping and not the fire cupping method, if they cover it at all.
Hope this helps some!