Cupping Q&A With Shaila Suleman, LMT

Shaila Suleman Cupping Q&A

The Good Life Massage is proud to offer a new service you may have heard of: cupping! Cupping goes way back to ancient Egypt. It has long been known as a method of getting many of the same benefits of massage, but in a way that dramatically improves circulation. It can give you a feeling of deep relaxation and euphoria like nothing else this side of prescription pain killers, and has a host of other benefits.

We sat down with our resident expert on cupping, Shaila Suleman, LMT to ask her about this interesting and ancient practice, and how it can help you.

What is cupping?
Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese therapy, which has been used for thousands and thousands of years. It started back in Egypt.

The concept of cupping is moving and manipulating muscle tissue and scar tissue, stimulate blood flow. It’s like an opening for congestion or stagnance, or hyper-tense muscles. With massage, we do this with a push motion. Cupping is the same kind of thing, but with a pulling motion.

Cupping - GLM_Jan2018-93Is it uncomfortable or painful?
It can be to some degree, and that’s because it’s a form of therapy. Unlike massage where you’re pushing to move out, it’s pulling, so you have this pulling sensation that can kind of be uncomfortable. But there’s a way to adjust the suction so it doesn’t have to be extremely painful. You can also move the cups, which can also be painful depending on the state of the body we’re working on.

What equipment do you use and how does it work?
The kind of cups we use are plastic pump cups. We us a pump to create the suction that’s more stable and adjustable than silicon cups or glass and fire cups.

What is cupping good for?
If you’re having caral tunnel, that’s one. It’s great for TMJ. A compression in your shoulders can be helped with cupping. If you have scar tissue, you can break that apart. It’s good for removing scar tissue post-injury. Even, like, 20 years down the road, you can still work with it enough and manipulate it enough to where it dramatically decreases the size of the scar tissue. So, post injuries or post surgeries are really great.

If you’re losing a lot of weight, it’s really great, too. When you’re losing weight rapidly, your skin can’t quite keep up with your body getting smaller, because you’re losing so much weight at one time. What cupping does is it stretches the skin out, but as it’s stretched out, it tries to get back to its orignal shape. You stretch it out so the blood can move, as it comes back, it forms close to your current shape.

Is there blood?
Not in the cupping we do, no. The idea is to make an incision on the skin to draw out “bad blood” with the suction. It’s illegal to do in Washington State. Actually, it’s illegal in every state.

If I get cupping done at The Good Life Massage, what will it be like?
For the first part of the session, we’ll start with massaging. The core idea of the massage is to relax the muscles enough so that the pulling of the cups will not be as rough, whereas if you just put a cup right on top from the get-go it can be really painful. So we manipulate the muscles as much as we can, try to get the muscles as loose as we can. Once we’re able to kinda get some movement between the muscles and the tension and the adhesions, then that’s when we use the cups.

The cups start out by moving–what we call “running cups”. We move them around the spine, around the shoulders, wherever needs to be worked on. So, running cups around, and after a few minutes, after the blood starts to come up and show as redness on the skin, that’s when we start placing the cups. Once we’ve started the cupping, we’ll move them down by sections down the back or wherever else they need it. But as the cups are sitting, I can work on massaging the arms or the legs or another body part. A full body session with massage is usually around 90 minutes. If all we’re doing is cupping, 60 minutes is usually enough.

You will end up getting bruises, just because that’s where the blood is more stagnant. They’re perfectly circular. There may also be some mild bruising from the running, but those go away after a day or so.

Where will you not put a cup?
The inner thighs. That’s a really tender, painful area. There are nerves that go through there. You can work it with massage, but only with very light tension. It’s also very uncomfortable. You can do the face, but just don’t be getting your picture taken the next day. If you’re worried about dirt and exposure on your face, the few hours after are when you’re really vulnerable to get that kind of stuff inside it. You should wash your face immediately right after so there’s nothing getting clogged.

Would you recommend doing a Chocolate Fudge Face Mask afterwards?
That would be really good! Because the cupping pulls the pores open. For this reason, cupping isn’t so good for people with severe acne. If you add a Chocolate Fudge Face Mask, it’s all set to go. because it will kind of cover it and clean it out.

If you’re a bride or a groom, or anyone who’s getting their picture taken for a big event soon, what kind of gap do you need after cupping on the face or visible areas?
Probably about a week and a half. That would be the least amount of time you would want to give it.

Otherwise you’re playing with fire?
Exactly. Less than a week is cutting it too close. I know that when I have the running done on me, it takes two to three days for the redness to go away. It really depends on the body of the person.

What are some physical conditions that would keep you from getting cupping done?
Pregnancy. Cupping releases blood clots. People of advanced age are okay. They just have to keep us aware of how they’re doing during the session.

Also, if you have stage four metastasized cancer, cupping is not a good idea because cupping can move the lymph, which helps spread the cancer cells to other parts of the body.

If you have some kind of blood disorder, or if you have any doubts or concerns whatsoever, talk to your doctor before making an appointment.

What about minors?
Minors are great for cupping! We can work with kids from age three and up, but again, it’s really light, mild cupping. We can work with kids!

It’s really good for kids having digestive problems. We can do cupping on the stomach and lower back, which can be really beneficial to their digestion. If they’re having any pain, cupping can be good for that too.

 

Do you need a license to do this?
I thought you did for a long time, but I called the Department of Health and they said our state doesn’t really license cupping. You just have to be trained. I was trained and I trained the other therapists here at The Good Life Massage.

Shaila Headshot

 

Shaila Suleman is certified in cupping and is a licensed massage therapist at The Good Life Massage. You can learn more about her here.

 

 

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and Marketing Director at The Good Life Massage. You can hire him to help you build your brand with content marketing by contacting him at tomgunn@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

How Massage Can Beat Your Winter Blues

How Massage Can Beat Your Winter Blues

The days are short and gloomy. The nights are oh-so-long. To top it off, every form of flu and bronchitis known to man has decided to shack up at your place for several weeks. So what’s to be done? Fill the house with full spectrum sunlamps? Buy property in Arizona? Maybe.

But can we modestly suggest something more personal, more accessible? Our massage and spa services are just the thing to beat the long mid-winter blues. Here’s why.

Heated massage tables
Need I say more?

Okay, maybe not, but this bears elaboration. It’s not just about the tables. Each of our massage rooms are quiet and completely private. The whole atmosphere of our clinic is utterly inviting. Peel off the layers! Lift the sheet. Ease yourself slowly against our heated, well-padded tables as the sounds of soothing music and ocean waves brings your mind and spirit to rest. Take a deep breath, and get ready, because we haven’t even started yet.

A mini vacation
When you’re ready, the massage therapist comes in, gently places their hands between your shoulder blades, and begins to work their magic. Tension melts off you like suntan lotion in the summer sun. Months of stress built up since your last vacation evaporates. You feel your body sinking even deeper into the warmth of the table. Your mind drifts like a raft on clear blue waters.

Unwound, healed, happier
Reluctantly, you’ll rise from the table. You’ll have faint prints on your face from the wrinkles in the face rest cover. You’ll feel warm inside and out, glowing and flush with new circulation as you stretch what feels like a new back, arms, and legs. You’ll leave the clinic feeling just a little hazy from the deep, relaxing experience you’re still recovering from. In fact, it’s best if you avoid making any major life decisions in this state.

But does it last?
Your massage session is a great experience, but it has benefits that transcend the hour or two on the table. Yes, you’re going back out into the damp, dark winter, but you’re going feeling like you’ve just stepped off the plane from somewhere warm and relaxing. What’s more, you’re likely to be more emotionally stable. Massage has been shown to help people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression. Even one massage a season will make a significant difference, but if you feel you need more regular treatment, we offer pre-paid packages to make regular visits more affordable.

Not just massage
We offer a range of enhancements that amount to actual spa services, some of which you won’t find anywhere else, including our chocolate hydrating face mask, aromatherapy, hand or foot scrub, and hot stone massage. Any or all of these can add to your massage experience and help you feel like you’ve just been on the vacation of a lifetime compressed into an hour or two.

Sound good?

Book your next massage now.

Choose the good life.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can hire him to build your social media presence and focus your brand by contacting him at tomgunn@gmail.com

Add a Little Extra, Get a Lot More – A Primer on Massage Enhancements, Part II

Treat Yourself - Web Graphic

In the last post we reviewed a few of the session enhancements available at our clinic. These are a fantastic way to make a great massage experience even better, so if you haven’t already read it, check out that post.

What we haven’t covered, however, are the spa treatment enhancements that are also available. Like any spa treatment, these must be reserved in advance. Don’t ask your therapist for these on the day of your massage, because these require extra time on the schedule and/or prep time that make it impossible to prepare on-demand.

As you’ll see, however, it’s well worth the effort to plan ahead and schedule one of these with your session.

Fancy Feet
If you like the hand or foot sugar scrub, you’ll love this! This is quite a full pedicure, but it’s the next best thing. For 30 blissful minutes, your hardest working body parts get the TLC they deserve. We start with a gentle exfoliating sugar scrub and follow that with hot stone massage. This is a perfect add-on for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, or who just need some extra attention in that area.

HFS Upgrade
HFS stands for hands, feet, or scalp. You’ll get 15 extra minutes in one of these targeted focus areas. We’ve posted on this space before about how amazing this upgrade can be, but briefly, this adds time to your session dedicated to one of these areas.

Hands. You may not realize just how hard your hands work until you try this. The therapist will spend time on each joint of the finger, soothing all those tight muscles and connective tissues with focused touch therapy. This is highly recommended for anyone who works with their hands, or even just uses a computer a lot (which is pretty much everybody, right?).

Feet. Is there any part of your body that needs more attention than your feet? This enhancement adds 15 blissful minutes of attention just on your feet. This is considerably more than the 3 to 5 minutes your feet would each get in a full body massage, and will have you dancing out the door.

Scalp. It’s counter-intuitive, but the scalp is a great place to get some focus work done. It’s deeply relaxing and can even help relieve headaches. This is ideal for stress relief or to aid with mental health or addiction recovery.

Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask
Good news: this one involves chocolate! Not so good news: it doesn’t involve eating any. It turns out that the flavonoids in cocoa are great for your skin. It smells great, has been proven to leave your face feeling smooth and moisturized, and most of all, gives you that feeling of being treated like royalty.

Again, whichever of these enhancements you decide to go with, remember that each of them require extra time be added to your session. That means these must be booked in advance and can not be added at the last minute. For enhancements that can be added on the fly, see our last post.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director at and blod editor of The Good Life Massage. You hire him to help with your content marketing and social media tasks by contacting him at tomgun@gmail.com.

Our Most Enticing Enhancement – Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask

Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask

Our chocolate hydrating face mask session enhancement is the perfect way to add an extra touch of spa luxury to your massage. Not only is it great for your skin, it’s actually a lot of fun to get.

Why chocolate?
Chocolate–or, more specifically, cocoa–has been shown to benefit both physical and mental health. The flavonoids in chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure.
But should you really be putting chocolate on your face? Doesn’t too much chocolate make you break out?

Actually, eating too much chocolate causing breakouts can more readily be attributed to the fat and sugar you’re also taking in when you eat most chocolate candy.

Our chocolate hydrating face mask is made with pure cocoa powder, giving your skin the optimal benefit. According to Doctor Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles based dermatologist, chocolate, when applied as a mask, can help keep your skin clear and hydrated.

It’s also made with our hydrating face mask, available right here in our clinic. Take home a bottle to repeat the treatment at home!

The fun part
It feels good to wear, but it’s also a treat for the senses, surrounding you with a delicious, rich chocolate smell. You’ll swear someone was baking brownies.

Add the chocolate hydrating face mask when you book your next session, but remember that it can only be added in advance. You won’t be able to add it at the last minute. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at tgunnwriter.com