Face Cuping Techniques and Benefits

 Face Cups Techniques & Benefits:


The face is considered to be the ‘mirror’ of a person’s health. To the outside world, both the physical and the emotional state of affairs are expressed through our face. This is because the face contains a massive number of nerve receptors which are intimately linked with the central nervous system. I’m sure that at some point in our lives we have all been able to observe happiness, contentment and joy as well as pain, anger, restlessness and frustration just by looking at a friend’s face, and have asked, ‘Is everything all right?

In my clinic, facial cupping massage is one of the most frequently requested treatments.

Cupping massage to the face softens facial lines, brings colour and energy, helps disperse anxiety and the ‘tired look’, benefiting complexion and appearance.


Figure 8.2: Anatomy of the facial and neck muscles Anatomy of the facial and neck muscles

In order to get the best results from facial cupping massage, it is necessary to know the muscular make-up of the face and the neck. The cupping massage technique you are about to employ will very much depend on knowing the position and the function of the muscle group you are working on. For the treatment to be most effective, the movement of the cup should follow the curve and contour of the muscle and not cross it.
The facial muscles are a set of about 20 smooth skeletal muscles lying under the facial skin. Most of them originate from the skull or fibrous structures and radiate to the skin through an elastic tendon. The facial muscles are positioned around the facial openings (mouth, eye, nose and ear) or stretch across the skull and neck.

Preparing for facial cupping massage

Recommended cupping equipment

Rubber-top cupping set (Figure 8.3).
Silicon cups (Figure 8.4).
Pistol-handled cupping set (Figure 8.5).


A WORD OF CAUTION: Avoid using the fire cupping technique on face.

Treatment position:
 
It is best to have the patient in a supine position (lying face upwards). The practitioner sits or stands behind the patient, gaining full access to the head, face and neck (Figure 8.6A, B). I recommend using both hands during the cupping massage – one hand to hold the cup firmly and the free hand to support the skin while the cup is moved.
Step 1: With bare hands, massage and warm the entire face, including the forehead, ears, chin, under the chin and the neck, with massage oil of your choice. This also helps to establish rapport with your patient at the start of the session.
Step 2: Once the face massage is completed, choose a small suction cup which will be suitable to work on the facial muscles. Facial cupping massage consists of 11 cupping movements (CM).

Facial cupping massage protocol

Third eye
CM 1: Start the facial cupping massage from the midpoint between the eyebrows (this point is also referred as the ‘spiritual point’ or the ‘third-eye chakra’). Engage the cup on the third eye. While using one hand to move the cup on the skin, use your free hand to support the skin behind the moving cup. Slide the cup towards the hairline. Remove the suction cup and repeat the cupping massage from the point at which you started. Repeat the same movement no more than five times during the first and second visits. This can be increased by five movements each following week to a maximum of 50 movements on each muscle group in one given session. This is a gentle way to introduce cupping stimulation to the facial muscle groups. While massaging, always monitor the skin’s reaction and modify your technique accordingly. If the colour of the skin goes beyond pinkish-red to bright red or, worse, to dark red, stop the treatment immediately, reduce the strength of suction and try again. Should you lose the suction as you move the cup (which happens often), reapply and continue with the treatment. Avoid applying pressure on the cup while moving it on the skin surface. The movement should be smooth and effortless. Should the patient complain of pain or discomfort while you are moving the cup, this could be a sign of strong suction or dry skin, which can be remedied by applying weaker suction or additional massage oil.
Cupping massage to the ‘third-eye chakra’ is believed to stimulate the pineal gland located deep in the centre of the brain, responsible for the endocrine system which produces the hormone melatonin. Melatonin helps to maintain the circadian rhythm (24-hour biological clock), regulate the reproductive system in men and women, and relax the mind and clear the head (Figure 8.7A, B).

Face Cupping


Face Cups

Face Cups


Figure 8.6A, B: Practitioner positioning himself behind the patient Forehead

CM 2: Starting from just above the eyebrows, apply and move the cup 
upwards, towards the hairline (Figure 8.8A).

CM 3: Starting from the middle of the forehead, slide the cup laterally towards the temple (Figure 8.8B).

Because of the fine skin at the forehead, it is quite common to lose suction frequently while moving the cup at this location. In this case, persevere, removing and reapplying the cup, and continue with the treatment.
Cupping massage to the forehead helps to reduce lines and gets rid of tension headaches.

Under the eyes

CM 4: Massage under the eyes, starting from the base of the nose and moving laterally towards the temple. Repeat the movement five times. Extra care is necessary when cupping under the eyes, since the skin under the eyes is the thinnest on the human body. Repeat to the opposite side (Figure 8.9A, B, C).
Cupping massage around the eyes relaxes tired eyes and brings energy to the eye muscle and the optic nerve.
It also helps to relieve nasal congestion.

Lips

CM 5: Upper lip. Choose a small cup to administer lip massage. The movement is from one corner of the mouth to the other. Continue with cupping massage from the corner of the mouth towards the temple, then towards the eyes and finally towards the inner canthus of the eyes (Figure 8.10).

CM 6: The lower-lip massage is a similar movement to the upper-lip massage. Continue with the lower-lip massage from the corner of the mouth laterally, aiming towards the ear lobe (Figure 8.11).
Cupping massage around the lips helps to reduce wrinkles around the mouth.
Face

CM 7: Side of the face. Following the jawline, start the cupping massage from the lower jaw and move the cup towards the ear and the outer corner of the eye. Repeat the same action to the opposite side of the face (Figure 8.12A, B, C).
This technique softens facial lines, brings energy and colour to the cheeks and helps reduce facial tension.

Chin

CM 8: Massage the chin by moving and sliding the cup from side to side over the chin bone (mandible).
NB. Extra care is needed when massaging the chin, as this area is known to bruise quite easily.
Under the chin
CM 9: Start the cupping massage from the tip of the chin and move the cup in a medial direction towards the throat, reaching to the top of the sternum. Next, move the cup from the throat cartilage laterally (outwards) towards the neck. Repeat the same movements to the opposite side (Figure 8.14A, B, C).
Neck
CM 10: Neck muscle (sternocleidomastoid). Starting from under the ear, massage and move the cup towards the collarbone (clavicle). With neck muscles, cupping massage can be applied in both directions – that is, from the collarbone upwards towards the ear and vice versa. Repeat the massage to the opposite side (Figure 8.15A, B, C).
Cupping massage to the neck helps reduce tension and anxiety, and improves blood circulation to the head.
Massaging the neck muscle tightens and restores skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles.

Upper Chest

CM 11: Under the collarbone and top of the chest. Starting from the middle of the chest (sternum), move the cup under the collarbone laterally (outwards), over the chest muscle (pectoralis major) towards the tip of the shoulder. Repeat the movement to the opposite side (Figure 8.16A, B, C).

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cupping

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cups

Face Cupping

Face Cupping

Face Cupping

Face Cupping

Face Cupping



Reference Book: 

CUPPING THERAPY FOR BODYWORKERS A Practical Manual
Author: ILKAY ZIHNI CHIRALI
LONDON AND PHILADELPHIA

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