Bellabaci Cupping

What is traditional cupping therapy?

Cupping is an ancient method of causing local congestion.  Underlying tissues are drawn up inside cups placed upon the skin.  This is achieved by the creation of a partial vacuum, established via heat or suction.  By leaving cups on the skin in the same place for a number of minutes, blood is drawn to this area to promote localised healing.  One of the ideas of Oriental medicine is based on the principle that our health and well-being, and therefore our immune system, relies on the ability for blood, Qi (energy) and body fluids such as hormones and lymphatic fluid to keep moving.  This branch of medicine therefore believes that all pain is due to stagnation of these systems. Therefore, in traditional medicine, cupping therapy is also believed to open the Meridians or energy channels of the body.

Where did traditional cupping therapy originate?

Cupping therapy has been used in China for around 3,000 years.  It is often accompanied by other types of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) such as acupuncture or herbs.  In TCM, cupping is applied to acupuncture points to relieve stagnant Qi (life energy) and blood. Cupping was also used in ancient Egypt and Greece.

How is Bellabaci cupping different to cupping used in TCM?

Image courtesy of Bellabaci

Image courtesy of Bellabaci

Bellabaci cupping is a slow and relaxing massage based on a modification of ancient cupping therapy. It combines deep tissue, Swedish and lymphatic drainage massage techniques. Unlike TCM, which uses glass cups in which it can be difficult to moderate the vacuum created, Bellabaci cupping uses Bellabaci silicone cups.  These cups enable the therapist to vary the strength of suction for client comfort.  This means that cups keep moving or do not remain stationary or for any long periods, eliminating the chance of cup kisses.  There is also no need to use flame to extinguish the oxygen from cups, which is one method utilised in TCM.  Therefore there is no danger of burns or injuries for clients.

How does Bellabaci cupping work?

In sites of injury or stagnation, inflammation (needed for healing) occurs.  If left untreated, this inflammation may cause a build up of toxic substances and waste products.  By applying cups to the area, new (temporary and unharmful) inflammation is triggered, causing fresh luekocytes (white blood cells which fight infection and illness) to travel to the area.  The process draws blood from the arteries to the capillaries.  Blood then returns via the veins to be cleansed and allow the body to dispose itself of waste products.

Bellabaci cupping uses negative pressure via light to firm suction offering benefits from lymphatic drainage to deep tissue massage. It aims to address the root causes of problems by re-balancing the body and working on key problem areas.

What happens during a session?

During an initial consultation, some personal details such as diet, lifestyle and general health are discussed in confidence. You will then be asked to remove some items of clothing in the privacy of the treatment room and lie on a comfortable massage couch.  The therapist will apply a massage oil tailored to your individual needs and begin by applying two Bellabaci cups using light pressure to perform initial lymphatic drainage and allow you to become accustomed to the sensation of the cups.  Throughout the treatment, the therapist will use the cups and their hands to massage areas of the body which require attention.

Cups may be left in place over key problem areas for a short time.  This can create a short term discoloration in the form of a red circle, known as a  ‘cup kiss’.  Cup kisses are the result of an area of intense stagnation of body fluids and toxins being revealed.  Cup kisses are not bruises, not painful and take between a few hours or 3-7 days to dissipate.  Please rest assured that placing cups in one area does not necessarily result in cup kisses.  The therapist will first check with you whether you would like them to place cups in a stationary manner.  If you do not wish for this to be part of the treatment, the therapist will keep cups moving throughout the treatment.

Image courtesy of Bellabaci

Image courtesy of Bellabaci

How does Bellabaci cupping feel?

Many people comment on a feeling of deep warmth and a tingling sensation during and for some time after a treatment has ended.  Light cupping is incredibly relaxing and soothing for the nervous system and the pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing feelings of stress. Despite the ability of Bellabaci cups to penetrate deeply into the tissues of the body, the surface area of the cups means that this should not feel in any way ‘pinching’.  Pressure will be increased gradually, the therapist will regularly check that this is suitable for you and does not feel in any way uncomfortable.

Why do I need an initial consultation?

There are some occasions when treatment is not advised. The therapist needs to be aware of these for your safety, comfort and if treatment is advised, to tailor the therapy to each individual client.

How long will a treatment last?

A number of treatment options are available depending upon your needs.  For a relaxing and detoxing massage to re-balance your body and mind, you might like to try the 1 hour full body massage.  However, if you are looking for a deep tissue massage to target specific pain, 20 minute express or 30 minute back, neck and shoulder Bellabaci massage might be more appropriate.

Your therapist can discuss with you which options may be most suitable when booking.
Please see our website and the section on Treatments and Prices for further information about the full variety of treatments and special offers we provide.

How much does the treatment cost?

Enjoy 20% off your first ever treatment with zenmindbody.

1 hour full body Bellabaci cupping massage £43

1 hour 15 minutes Float Away full body Bellabaci cupping massage (includes face cupping and head massage) £50

1 hour 30 minutes Total Detox full body Bellabaci cupping massage (includes face cupping and head massage) £60

30 minutes back, neck and shoulder Bellabaci cupping massage £25

45 minutes Top to Toe Bellabaci cupping massage (back, neck, shoulders and face cupping, head and feet massage) £35

20 minutes express Bellabaci cupping massage (if you’re short on time but want to target pain/tense muscles) £18

Pamper parties are also available at the cost of £12.50 per person for a 20 minute mini cupping treatment (minimum 3 people)

What are the benefits of cupping?

Cupping has been found to penetrate up to four inches into tissues of the body.  Benefits may include:

  • deep tissue massage, alleviating tired, aching muscles and reducing muscle knots
  • relief from sciatica (relaxing muscles pressing on the sciatic nerve)
  • reducing insomnia and stress (by activating the parasympathetic nervous system)
  • relief from headaches and migraines
  • relief from symptoms associated with sinus congestion
  • helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite (by emulsifying cellulite and making it easier for the body to eliminate)
  • improving digestion and offering relief from constipation and some other digestive complaints
  • helping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and varicose veins (by causing tissues to release toxins)
  • reducing fluid retention (lymphatic odema)
  • boosting immunity (via activation of the lymphatic system)
  • improving blood circulation
  • enhancement of penetration of oils and other products used
  • deep cleanse, reduction of blocked pores, under-eye bags and puffiness (for facial cupping)

Please note: As with all complementary and whole body (holistic) therapies, cupping therapy does not replace medical treatment.

When should I not have a treatment?

Clients with:

  • a heart condition
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • epilepsy
  • kidney problems
  • diabetes
  • any implant/ recent operation

should obtain written permission from their doctor prior to proceeding with treatment.
No treatment will be given for clients:

  • who are pregnant
  • with hernias/bulging or herniated discs
  • with cancer (minimum remission 5 years)
  • with blood disorders
  • with ME or MS (because of the detoxing nature)
  • with weak, ulcerated or broken skin
  • with cirrhosis of the liver
  • on blood thinning medication (anti-coagulants)
  • with sunburn or peeling skin
  • with skin infections
  • with active and pustular acne
  • with Herpes Zoster (cold sores)

Before the treatment:

Please avoid

  • exfoliation
  • exercise
  • saunas and steam rooms
  • heavy meals

After the treatment:

The effects of massage are unique to each individual.
Because the treatment stimulates the body and encourages the release of toxins, you may experience some of the following over the next 24 hours:

  • increased energy levels/ feelings of tiredness
  • deep sleep
  • increased urination/ bowel movements
  • increased thirst/hunger
  • skin breakouts as toxins are released
  • aching muscles as toxins are released and nerve fibres respond to the massage
  • tearfulness/ emotional feelings

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

After care advice:

To gain the most from your treatment, over the 24 hours following this you are advised to:

  • stay away from excessive heat
  • take only a lukewarm shower/bath
  • avoid saunas and steam rooms
  • avoid extreme cold on areas worked on
  • maintain a comfortable body temperature
  • avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking and strenuous physical exercise.
  • eat a light meal
  • drink plenty of water and relax!
  • leave oil on the skin overnight (if possible)