When was the last time you had your abdomen massaged?
Prior to becoming an RMT, I often wondered whether my abdomen would get massaged during a treatment. One of my former nursing colleagues, who routinely received massage treatments, told me it was usually only done “if you’re constipated.” This puzzled me, as it seemed strange to disregard this region of the body.
I wasn’t satisfied with the skill set I learned in massage school with respect to abdominal massage either, particularly after I learned how the digestive system is often seen as the seat of all emotions in many oriental traditions. It is such an unfamiliar area for many people that often the first sensation/reaction I observe in my practice is one of fear. Trepidation. And then finally, relief. Calm.
Enter abdominal cupping. Ahh yes, my love of cupping never seems to stop. You know the feeling you get when you take that first sip of water or that first bite of food after a divine massage or acupuncture treatment? When you feel as though every single morsel is melting and nurturing your soul ever so effortlessly? This is what happens after an abdominal cupping session. And it doesn’t stop there.
Anytime I give myself a treatment, I notice that my bowel movements are much more regular. My skin clears up. I am calm and have consistent energy levels. I’ve even noticed my sensitivity is heightened during sexual activity, making it much more pleasurable.
In addition to the benefits I experienced, abdominal cupping massage can help:
- Strengthen immune system function (80% of your immune system lives in your digestive tract!)
- Improve both female AND male reproductive system function, particularly when used along with IVF. This is due to its ability to promote blood flow to the uterus and regulation of hormone production.
- Elevate uptake and absorption of nutrients and increase digestive fluids.
Plus many many other benefits.
What does it feel like?
Generally, cupping in any region can feel anywhere from mildly uncomfortable to deeply pleasurable. Abdominal cupping definitely falls on the gentler side of things. I have observed that in most people, the right half of the abdomen and sometimes the area just beneath the rib cage can be a bit more sensitive. Feel free to ask for less suction, as strong suction to is not necessary to reap the benefits.
After your treatment, please be aware that you may need to visit the bathroom more regularly, and this is the body’s way of eliminating any toxins that may have been building up. You may be hungry, thirsty, tired, irritable or you may not experience anything at all. All of these responses are normal. Support yourself over the next 48-72 hours by: drinking a lot of water; eating when you feel hungry, and being really kind and patient with yourself. Return for treatments weekly, and observe how your body responds. I also highly recommend avoiding extreme heat, cold, wind or strenuous activity for 4-6 hours right after the treatment (warm Epsom salt baths are okay).
So again, I ask, when was the last time you had your abdomen massaged?
Clients with hernias, slipped discs, organ failure (esp. liver/kidney/heart function), who are pregnant, or undergoing cancer therapies sadly cannot receive abdominal cupping. If you are presently under the care of a medical doctor, please confirm with them, if you are ever unsure about the safety of this experience.