Five Healthy Reasons To Receive Massage Therapy

girl getting head massage
a soothing head massage

Upon hearing the word massage, many people immediately think of going to a spa and spending some quality “me-time.”

Sure, massage can help put your mind and body at ease. But its benefits extend beyond providing you that feeling of comfort and relaxation.

The manipulation of soft tissues has several health benefits that you may not readily realize, and it is due to these effects that massage therapy must be incorporated into your routine.

The following are five benefits of massage therapy and why you should consider it more than just a pampering treat.

1. Relieve stress.

Headache migraine people

Everyone would agree that after a massage therapy session, you simply feel calm and relaxed. In fact, stress relief is one of the primary benefits of receiving a bodywork treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, stress isn’t always bad. Stress is actually necessary to perform everyday functions and prevent accidents, such as hitting the brakes when another vehicle suddenly storms in front of you on the road. Too much stress, however, can be detrimental to your health.

Several studies show that even a single session of massage therapy can immensely reduce stress. This is because massage helps reduce your heart rate, insulin levels and cortisol levels. By adding therapeutic massage in your routine, you can feel and look healthier.

2. Improve posture

Businessman With Lower Back Ache

Today’s generation is notorious for bad posture. Desk workers are particularly at risk, as they need to sit for hours on end day after day. And only a small portion of the population takes the time and effort to practice measures that would permanently help them improve their posture. The most common manifestations include pain in the neck, back and glutes.

Thankfully, this can be corrected by receiving massage. Regular massage therapy sessions can help reinforce the natural movements of different body parts, allowing your body to get back on track. It also helps reduce muscle soreness and promotes pain-free posture.

3. Strengthen the immune system

Immune Defense

You might wonder, “How can something done on the outside help improve things on the inside?”

Many might think of this simply as a marketing ploy by massage therapists and spa owners, but there are plenty of studies that back it up.

For instance, one study showed that HIV patients who received a 45-minute massage therapy session 5 days a week for 1 month experienced an increase in production of cells which are considered the first line of defense in the immune system. Massage has also been shown to improve the cytotoxic capacity of the immune system, which is the activity level of the natural “killer” cells.

4. Improve circulation and lower blood pressure.

Blood Circulation

As mentioned, one session of therapeutic massage offers a wealth of health benefits. Just imagine what it can do if done on a regular basis. One of the best long-term effects of massage therapy is improved blood circulation. This is a result of the pressure created during the massage, regardless of the technique used. This pressure causes blood to flow through the congested areas, which then allows new blood to flow in. This also flushes lactic acid from the muscles, the accumulation of which is associated with chronic muscle fatigue and soreness.

Massage can also help patients with high blood pressure. Many think that this medical condition comes with several symptoms. In reality, though, it has none, earning it the nickname “the silent killer.” Massage therapy has been proven to be an effective way to lower blood pressure naturally. Receiving massage therapy on a regular basis decreases both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

5. Recover from physical injury.

Full Body Massage

Rehabilitating a physical injury can be a tedious and painful process. Many find that a physical rehabilitation program is insufficient to restore the affected area to its pre-injury state. Massage therapy plays a critical role in supplementing injury rehabilitation procedures. Relaxing the muscles and promoting circulation in the affected area allow blood to deliver much needed oxygen and other nutrients. This helps improve flexibility and range of motion. With the right injury massage therapy, the patient can expect the area to be healed at an accelerated rate.

Studies indicate that there is an increasing number of patients who seek therapeutic massage to heal broken bones and burns as well. Massage can reduce stiffness and improve mobility, two problems often experienced when recovering from a broken bone. Burn patients also report less itching, discomfort and depression after receiving three months of massage therapy alongside their skin rehabilitation program.

Find A Massage Therapist Today

smile woman

It is important to understand that the benefits of massage therapy are more than skin deep. Incorporating this form of self-care into your routine plays a huge role in maintaining your health for years to come. Massage is often viewed as a luxury, but it’s a worthy investment that provides numerous therapeutic benefits. It is recommended to find a professional massage therapist who can help establish a regular treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

 

About the Author

Jonathan Leger is a freelance journalist with a deep interest in holistic medicine and homeopathic care. If you’re ever in Ashville, North Carolina, he suggests you get a massage HERE.

New Research: Use Hot or Cold for Healing Injuries?

Our Awesome Acupuncturist
Our Awesome Acupuncturist at 70.

New research reveals some answers to the old question which remedy to apply when treating our injuries and ailments, heat or cold?

Massage therapists and other therapeutic bodyworkers don’t always agree. Even physicians, chiropractors, and acupuncturists don’t always agree.

Whitney Lowe, Licensed Massage Therapist, author, educator, and premier authority on pain and injury treatment with massage therapy, has just recently posted an article on this dilemma in the November edition of Massage Today, a popular monthly magazine published by MPA Media for massage therapists and other professional bodyworkers.

Often we as bodyworkers raise questions while attending Continuing Education courses and other professional meetings regarding the latest techniques and theories that can help in providing optimal patient/client care. The case for cold vs heat has always been a point for debate among massage therapists and the use of ice has recently come under scrutiny by a number of authors, according to Whitney. Yet in my discussions with various healthcare practitioners through the years, their answer to the heat vs ice query has overwhelmingly been ice. There you have it. But why?

As Whitney states in his publication, cold applications are most commonly used for the healing process of acute (24-48 hours) soft tissue injuries. Cold applications reduce inflammation and can help relieve pain. Our group of seasoned therapists have become comfortable with this treatment plan and see the benefits first-hand, however we and our patients, with regard to specific on-going injuries, have questioned at what point the use of heat might be a better option.

My thought, based on my training and my experiences over the past fifteen years, is that ice works well up to 48 hours, depending on the nature of the injury, of course. Then, the use of heat therapy or a combination of ice and heat has worked well for most.

I remember many years ago when my awesome Acupuncturist recommended to me that I apply heat for a week old TMJ problem. After applying heat I thought I was going to die!  I went back to ice to relieve the pain, but was that the best solution? Probably not.

Here’s why. The initial ice treatments (also called Cryotherapy) were appropriate and did help relieve my pain, along with OTC anti-inflammatory medication ( I am not a pill person…) but after the 24-48 hour cut-off, heat most likely would have helped the healing process by bringing blood flow to the tissues. Heat will not diminish pain like ice and heat is contra-indicated for many patient conditions and diseases, but in my case continuing with heat applications (even though it hurt during the application) would have been the best choice.

The Massage Magazine article states further: “New research indicates the standard guidelines for hot/cold therapy may need to be reconsidered.” In a nutshell, the article shares the argument that with the use of ice, blood flow is decreased and that vasoconstriction with cold applications is more pronounced in some regions of the body, such as the feet and hands. “The effect of reducing circulation is a physiological effect of ice that may not be desirable.” Other points worth considering are Whitney’s statements that “tissue healing is enhanced by chemical mediators carried through the blood stream and reducing their movement may interfere with the tissue healing response.” Additionally, he shares a valid concern that cold applications slow down lymphatic drainage and may have another detrimental effect on the tissue repair process as a result.

Makes perfect sense to me, I think…but I have heard through the grapevine that additional research is on the horizon.

Hot or cold for injuries may stay a dilemma in treating injuries but HEAT, is the ONLY treatment plan for cooking your Turkey. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Alternative Medicine An Easy Pill to Swallow

Alternative HealingLet’s face it: Alternative Medicine is an easy pill to swallow, even though Americans live in a society that is encouraged to follow Western healthcare philosophies and procedures, which often include prescribed medications and sign-your life-away procedures, the interest  Prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are often necessary and often not. Ditto for a multitude of procedures we find ourselves considering as our only options through a mindset of “go under the knife or take a pill”. Continue reading “Alternative Medicine An Easy Pill to Swallow”

What is the Intense Pain in your Heel?

Treatment of the Policeman's HeelA high probability is that the stabbing intense pain in your heel is called Plantar Faciitis (PF). The condition is typically characterized as intense stabbing pain in the heel, especially on awakening and beginning your day. But guess what? It can occur after any period of physical activity. I don’t know about you, but neither of these timeframes-to experience intense pain in my heel-is optimal for me.

I think back to my own first episode of PF every time I try to provide relief for the unlucky client who is experiencing this menacing condition, which can be short-term or chronic. But even if short-term, there is nothing ‘short’ about it in terms of the pain level and dysfunction it can cause. Sadly, by the time the client comes into the massage center with PF, we see a hobbling body accompanied by a grimacing face.

What is the medical definition of PF and what causes it? It is an inflammatory process of the connective tissue (fascia) on the bottom surface of the foot (plantar). It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon and is surprisingly common, affecting over two million Americans every year. I had no idea how common PF is until I became a massage therapist. And when I experienced it myself, I learned how difficult it can be to treat if preventive or corrective therapies, such as arch supports, ultrasound, massage, and stretching, are not applied. For a barefoot kind of gal, this was an awakening for me.

How does the process of PF start? It is associated with long periods of weight bearing; thus the nick-name: ‘Policeman’s Heel.’ In non-athletic populations, it is associated with a high body mass index, but many whom we treat are at a healthy weight and often, thin.
Pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel. Another symptom is that the sufferer has difficulty bending the foot so that the toes are brought toward the shin (decreased dorsiflexion of the ankle). Frequently there are complaints of associated knee pain, especially among walkers and runners.

Think of plantar fascia as your body’s shock absorber. Throughout the day, the fascia supports the arch of your foot to carry the weight of your body. When any impact is too great, tiny tears will appear in the fascia. If the impact level continues, the tears become inflamed. Eventually the excessive wear to the fascia causes the inward rotation of your foot. Wearing unsupportive footwear (who, me?), obesity, inactivity, poor weight distribution due to faulty foot mechanics, or sudden changes in weight distribution (in my case, racquet ball) are all contributors.

What can happen if PF is not treated? Chronic degeneration can develop which then becomes Plantar Fasciosis. ‘Osis’ implies a pathology of longstanding degenerative changes without inflammation. A host of new issues can develop as your body mechanics try to adjust for the foot pain. Chronic knee, hip, and back pain are common complaints.

The good news is that noninvasive treatment is available. Most treatment plans focus on having you temporarily avoid the activity that caused the inflammation. Yes, I know this part of the plan is difficult for many of you, but it is a necessary part of the healing process.

Your feet serve as your physical foundation! If you think you have Plantar Fasciitis, a consultation with your primary care physician or podiatrist will provide the diagnosis and a good start to recovery. For a good finish, come see us or visit a massage therapist in your area soon.

Nancy Shores, LMT

Neuro Mechanical Acupuncture Pain Management for the 21st Century

ETPS NMA TherapyAccording to Bruce R. Hocking, D.Ac., Electro Therapy Point Stimulation Neuro Mechanical Acupuncture (ETPS NMA) is a hybrid  modality used in the treatment of chronic soft tissue pain. In its most basic form, ETPS therapy applies brief, concentrated stimulation to points on the body that relate to different therapeutic systems in stages. Patient assessments are performed at the end of each stage to determine therapeutic effectiveness. Through a series of systematic and reproducible protocols, the diagnosis/assessment and treatment of root causes of soft tissue pain can be completed with a high degree of accuracy within minutes.

The theoretical underpinnings of ETPS therapy are based on acupuncture/acupressure, osteopathic stretching, trigger point, neuromuscular and neuropathic therapies.

As certified ETPS massage therapists, we began to experience the positive effects of this pain relief methodology first hand in 2000. We knew immediately, during our training sessions, that this would be a great pain relief service for our clients.

When massage therapists and other alternative medicine practitioners come together in one place at one time to continue their education (required for our bi-annual FL, GA and National certifications and licensure renewals), the camaraderie and learning experience is dynamic. We find ourselves wanting to learn everything everybody knows-so much working knowledge at one place and time!

During each day of training our instructor, Bruce, would ask who among our group of 15-20 had a chronic ailment or condition that we would like to have treated. Massage therapists’ bodies, as you can imagine, go through daily rigorous physical strain and if we do not take care of ourselves, we face the same repetitive motion problems as our clients/patients. (“Do as I say do, not as I do” is NOT a good philosophy.)

Being one who will jump at the chance for a free alternative healthcare approach to my own physical “isms,” I held up my hand. Years of participating in softball, volleyball and water skiing had taken a toll on my right shoulder (Dx: “frozen shoulder”) as well as wear and tear on my cervical and lumbar vertebrae, so I welcomed the opportunity for this new hybrid treatment. I was amazed at the effectiveness and my diminished pain after just two 30 minute sessions with our well educated and respected instructor.

Eleven years later, we therapists use this therapeutic technique on ourselves and on our clients. Just yesterday, I received ETPS therapy for “brewing” sciatic pain brought on by SITTING too much while vacationing. (What can I say? Ok, I read an ENTIRE book in one “sitting.”) Yes, I’m much better today-and yes, I have told my clients NOT to do what I do.

Mr. Hocking said it best, though, when he shared with us that this therapy has a high patient compliance due to its immediate effectiveness and high professional compliance as well as its ease of learning and fast clinical application.

The bottom line? This therapy is non-invasive, has no restrictions like acupuncture needling, and therefore, may be safely applied by therapists, doctors, and even the patients themselves in both clinical and home settings. ETPS NMA Therapy is an extremely versatile, effective and safe form of therapy.

Nancy Shores, LMT

~ “If you cannot be king, be a healer.”
(Ancient Sinhala quote from a manuscript dated 500 BC)

Tension Headaches: Causes and Simple Relief

simple ways to relief tension headaches

simple ways to relief tension headachesIn our massage practice we often observe clients’ complaints of headaches, with various descriptions of pain, listed on their medical history form. As we all know through our own experiences with headaches, pain can be felt in the frontal, temporal or occipital areas and sometimes confined to one side of the head or to the region immediately over one eye. Pain varies from person to person and depending on the specific type of headache, acute or chronic, for example, we may feel a dull ache or we may experience an almost unbearable sensation. The pain is intermittent, but intense and throbbing for some, while others describe  intense pressure as if their head will burst. One thing is for sure: headaches are not fun and can limit our ability to function.

Common causes for tension headaches are: life’s everyday stress, worry, poor posture and/or improper body mechanics, especially while typing (as in writing this article with my head pulled forward too long), prolonged reading, and long distance driving, to name a few easily correctable causes.

Tension headaches are the most common type and involve both the Frontalis and the Occipitalis muscles. As separate muscles, the Frontalis allows you to raise your eyebrows horizontally as in “elbows off the table, kids,” and the Occipitalis allows you to move the scalp over the cranium as in “watch me wiggle my ears, kids.”

Collectively referred to as Occipitofrontalis, this muscle group is a two-bellied muscle named to reflect its locations and functions on the head. This important muscle is connected by an extensive network of cranial fascia, a thin layer of connective tissue that covers and supports the muscle. Through application of therapeutic massage and gentle stretching techniques, associated pain stemming from this muscle group can be minimized or eliminated.

Simple changes, such as sitting in a firm or supportive chair versus a fluffy chair, can make a big difference. And when doing anything that causes repetitive strain on your eyes, neck, and back, it is wise to pause, change position, or walk and stretch for a few minutes.

Light stretches of the neck can be helpful, too. Sit erect and lean your left ear toward your left shoulder. Don’t raise your shoulder during this movement. The goal is to relieve tension, so don’t force any stretches. Think light and easy during the stretches. Repeat the process with your right ear to your right shoulder and repeat the entire process at least three times. Rotate your head to the left, then right, in a circular pattern. Repeat slowly, at least six times. Breathe deeply after each series and relax. Next, bring your head slowly forward as if trying to place your chin on your sternum. Hold this position for a few seconds, relax and breathe. Then slowly move your head backward as if trying to touch your collar. Repeat at least four times, relax and breathe.

Massage your temples simultaneously and hold pressure for ten seconds, then release and repeat at least three times. Therapeutic massage can do wonders for tension headaches and licensed massage therapists (called LMT’s in Florida) are well trained to provide immediate relief in most cases.

These simple techniques are not intended as a cure for any ailment or disease. It is wise to consult your physician before proceeding with any stretching program.

Nancy Shores, LMT, Esthetician

Love what you do. Enjoy listening to people. It can be hard work, but the potential for helping people is tremendous.
~Robert Tisserand

(Quote shared from Massage Therapy Principles and Practice by Susan G. Salvo)

 

What is a Knot?

Knots in Neck and BackIn our many years of massage therapy practice, a couple times each week we see clients who complain of a “knot” in a muscle. The area most often affected by this condition is along the edge of the shoulder blade between the shoulders in mid and upper back.  Most clients have rubbed the “knot” themselves or had a trusted acquaintance touch the area verifying its’ existence.  “Knots” can be as small as a BB and occasionally as large as a golf ball. Continue reading “What is a Knot?”

E-Stim Treatments

E-Stim Amelia Massage Associates
Electrical Stimulation to strengthen muscles

Neuropathic e-stim treatments describe a non-invasive, practical approach to chronic pain management using E-Stim (ETPS or Electro-therapy Point Stimulation) applied to trigger, motor and acupressure points.

Developed by our instructor, Practitioner Bruce R. Hocking, ETPS Therapy combines ancient healing philosophies with modern technology in order to manage and control chronic pain. According to E-T-P-S education, E-Stim applies brief, concentrated stimulation to points relating to different therapeutic systems in stages. Through a series of systematic and reproducible protocols, the assessment and treatment of root causes of soft tissue pain can be completed (by opening blocked meridians) with a high degree of accuracy and within minutes.

ETPS Therapy often combines acupuncture and trigger points with radiculopathy, dermatomal therapy, and structural realignment for a completely integrative approach to chronic pain management, making it
the world’s first integrative therapy developed exclusively to fight pain.

ETPS Therapy works on several different physiological principles:

1.) Circulatory response.
Increasing or decreasing of circulation ( called “Chi” in Eastern Therapies) can benefit the patient in the same manner as the application of heat ( vaso dilation) and ice (vaso constriction) would for Western Therapies.

2.) Autonomic/parasympathetic response.
The Autonomic Nervous System covers over 90% of the body, comprised of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It is the medium for chronic pain. The proper stimulation of parasympathetic “gates” can have a “calming effect” on the body, provided the suffering patient immediate and long lasting relief from pain, anxiety and insomnia.

3. Endorphin response
Endorphins may be released though concentrated low frequency ETPS stimulation. Endorphins are similar to morphine, but are thousands of times stronger and are not harmful to the patient. ETPS stimulation of neural points can excite the pituitary to release endorphins which release ACTH and Hydrocortisols for tissue repair.

E-Stim Amelia Massage Associates4.) Myofascial release.
It is now known that chronic pain has its origins in Neuropathy – or functional alterations of the PNS. Neuropathy is always caused by muscle contracture and radiculopathy is neuropathy at the spinal root.

E-stim treatments THERAPY encompasses 6 essential principles:

1.) Gait and Body mechanics.
Irregular positioning of the hips create structural and mechanical imbalances throughout the body, leading to length discrepancies, asymmetrical movements of the body and degenerative joint changes. Manually correcting this gait prior to pain treatment can substantially reduce ANS and Myofascial tension throughout the body.

2.) Radiculopathy and Neuropathy.
Refers to the impingement of nerves and the reduction in the flow of motor impulses throughout the nerve pathways. Correcting the source of nerve impingement using ETPS therapy can produce long-term benefits to the disease process and the chronic pain cycle.

3.) Acupuncture.
Acupuncture meridians and key acupuncture points are essential features of ETPS therapy. Integrating acupuncture points into ETPS protocols after treating radiculopathy can provide a strong therapeutic response with many chronic patients.

4.) Dermatomes.
The integration of dermatomes (nerve pathways) into ETPS protocols brings and objective approached to pain management. Patient’s pain patterns may be correlated with known dermatomes, and then integrated with corresponding trigger and acupressure points.

5.) Scar Therapy
Invasive surgery slices through nerves, meridians, lymphatic, fascia, and circulatory systems. ETPS therapy applied directly surrounding the scar can break up the scar tissue.

6.) Concentrated Microcurrent Stimulation (CMS).
Non-invasively duplicates the “De Chi” of traditional acupuncture therapy, (including nociception, endorphin, histamine and energetic responses), but does so in a fraction of the time. CMS can also relax contracted muscle tissue responsible for the nerve impingement(s) found with radiculopathy and neuropathy. This fast application permits the concurrent treatment and assessment of soft tissue pain, effectively determining root causes and saving time and effort.

E-stim treatments address serious pain management issues in a most comprehensive way.

Heat, Herbal and Tissue Treatments are Very Effective Against Pain

TDP mineral lamp Massage therapy at Amelia Massage AssociatesTreatment with E-Stim, the TDP Electromagnetic Heat Lamp (“The Miracle Lamp”) and Herbal treatment, have been shown very effective in Pain Treatments in Massage Therapy, alleviating pain caused by a wide variety of ailments such as chronically overworked or strained muscles, but also helps to re-balance and open blocked energy lines within the body.

This healing protocol, invented and used by Chinese practitioners, has proven effective with over 10,000 western case studies and provides for our clients an alternative or complementary source of healing.

The term TDP Lamp is an abbreviation for Teding Diancibo Pu which translates to “special electromagnetic spectrum” lamp. TDP lamps are similar to yet different from far infrared lamps. TDP lamps create mineral infrared waves that treat numerous ailments. A few common ones being back pain, shoulder pain, joint pain and arthritis. After an intense study by research institutes, hospitals, and schools, the TDP Lamp was invented to mimic the healing properties of clay.

The key part of this lamp is its heat-treated black clay, which contains 33 different essential mineral elements for the human body. This ceramic plate emits a unique spectrum of electromagnetic waves in the infrared range of 2 to 25 microns, which is compatible with the BIO-spectrum waves released by the human body and allowing for maximum absorption.

The absorbed energy promotes microcirculation, metabolism and strengthens immune system as well as tranquilized pain on the body.

Pain Treatments in Massage Therapy performed with Heat, Herbal and Tissue Treatments (E-Stim, Electromagnetic Heat Lamp and Herbs) lasts 60 minutes.

Cupping or Suction Cup Treatment

Suction Therapy Massage at Amelia Massage Associates The Complementary and Alternative Health Community has promoted a renewed interest and respect for one of the most ancient of therapeutic practices: Cupping or Suction Cup Treatment Therapy.
Suction cup therapy has been around for more than 5000 years – invented, before acupuncture. This traditional therapy is a time-honored treatment that remains favored by millions of people worldwide because it’s safe, comfortable and remarkably effective for most health disorders.

Ancient Roots of Cupping

Even though the origin of cupping therapy remains obscure, cupping therapy was used in Egypt dating back some 3,500 years, where its use is mentioned in hieroglyphics. Cupping was also used extensively by Romans, Celts, Turks, Slavic’s, Mayans, Aztecs, Native Indians and by healers throughout the Far & Middle East. Bamboo, earthenware and metal were also used as cupping vessels before the invention of glass.
Cupping Therapy at Amelia Massage Associates

Two main types of cupping therapy.

1. Massage cupping – During treatment, the glass cups are moved in a massage pattern around the skin to help massage sore joints and muscles.
2. Stationary cupping – During treatment, glass cups are applied to the skin and not moved until the end of the session.

How is a cupping session performed?

A cupping session is generally performed using the following tools: glass cups, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, candles and matches. Each of these tools is applied during a session as follows:

– A cotton ball is soaked in alcohol and lit on fire by a burning candle
– A vacuum is created inside a glass cup by holding the lit cotton ball inside the cup.
– Once the vacuum is created the cotton ball is removed and the cup is immediately applied to the designated acupuncture point on the skin.
– Four-six cups are applied during a session and are not left on the skin for longer than fifteen minutes.

Cupping Therapy is often used to relieve the following health conditions:
Colds & Influenza, Headaches, Abscesses, Arthritis, Intercostal Neuralgia, Intestinal disorders, Hemorrhoids, Sciatica, Rheumatism, Liver disorders, Gallbladder disorders, Dermatological disorders, Depression, Anxiety & insomnia, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Musculo-skeletal problems: pain, spasms, cramps, tightness, numbness, stiffness of the back and neck Chronic gastric pain, Vertigo, High blood pressure, stroke and arteriosclerosis, Bronchial asthma & congestion, Gynecological disorders, Menopausal discomforts, Kidney disorders (including frequent/urgent urination), Post-injury trauma, Post-surgery adhesions, Cellulite.

This is a Partial list of conditions that respond well to Cupping Therapy. Amelia Massage Associates have long featured this ancient therapeutic practice in their sessions.

Although a cupping session may sound painful, it is nothing of the sort. In fact, usually the only thing a person feels is a slight suction where each cup is strategically placed. After a session, you may have circular red marks on your skin from the cups. These red marks will fade and are a sign that the cupping or suction treatment therapy has successfully increased the blood flow within your body.