If you've ever experienced cupping or scraping or witnessed the aftermath, you may have noticed some dramatic looking colors and shapes. DO NOT BE ALARMED!
Some red to purple color can appear on the skin. The marks are not from bruising as often thought. They are a result of what is already underneath coming to the surface. Old injuries or blocked circulation can cause old blood cells and waste materials to build up in an area. These techniques open up a door to the surface to help these materials to resolve. The same person shows no color when cupping or scraping was not needed. Marks usually fade within a few days to about a week and on rare occasions a bit longer.
Here is an article by Chinese Medicine practitioner Bruce Bentley which provides further explanation. He is a renowned expert in cupping practices used throughout the world and has amassed impressive research and articles about this universal traditional medicine technique.
Self Care After Receiving:
It is extremely important to keep the treated area warm and protected from wind & cold for at least a day and until it no longer feels vulnerable. Your pores and tissue usually can expand and contract given the temperature and conditions around you. But these treatments mechanically open the pores and tissues such that they can't contract again for some time. Therefore you become much more susceptible to injury and to driving the original problem even deeper into the body if you do not take appropriate precautions. Even a slight draft that blows across the neck while you sleep could be dangerous if you are not well covered. I often tell people to wear turtlenecks or hooded sweatshirts to bed, even in warm weather. Many people have learned this lesson the hard way because they have a history of feeling fine with the window open while they sleep or they're just going for a short walk, etc. Really truly, please be overprotective as if you are injured.
Also wait to receive bodywork (massage, chiropractic, etc.) on that area and refrain from intense physical activity for at least a day and until it feels ready. Feel free to ask questions.