Massage oils and cupping do not always make a pair; cups can glide because of the greasy texture of the oil. Specific massage oil made for cupping hopefully exists on the market. We’ve already referenced plastic and silicone cupping, as well as gels, oils, creams, lotions and balms; here we’ll explain which ones to choose based on your needs.
The first thing you’ll need to consider for cups is the area you wish to treat. If you’re looking at large muscle groups such as thighs and backs, you’ll need larger cups, while you’ll need small cups for smaller muscle groups and for more specific treatments, such as trigger point massage. There are also specific cups for facial massage, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. If your treatments are varied, or if you’re thinking of giving whole body massages, a complete set of cups is a great, affordable option.
When considering the type of material for cups, it’s best to consider the type of treatment you wish to offer: for self treatment, plastic cups with a hand pump and connecting tubes will allow you to access areas of your back that are much more difficult to treat with silicone cupping. For traditional massage, silicone cups are often the preferred option, since they’re intuitive to use, flexible, and relatively easier to move across the skin smoothly. For trigger point therapies, or techniques that otherwise require a great deal of finesse, plastic cups with rotating handles will allow the practitioner to control the degree of suction with increased precision; however, they can be more cumbersome to move across the skin in a fluid motion.
While all of these types of lubricants are well suited for cupping massage, choosing one can also involve quite a bit of consideration. Balms, for example, often are great for the skin and conceived for particular therapeutic needs, but they can be inconvenient for massage therapists with a great volume of clients, since they take longer to dissolve, and they need to be warmed before use. Lotions and creams are similar to balms in that they’re usually designed to deeply nourish and hydrate the skin, and some of them also help with muscle pain. Oils and gels are a more traditional choice, available in a great variety of types, and they offer the best glide.
Here is a list of products we recommend for different uses:
Cellulite and stretch marks.
L’Herbier’s Oceania Balm is designed to help lessen the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.
Oils tend to be better for this type of skin: the less ingredients, the better. L’Herbier’s Rice Bran Oil is especially appropriate since it’s hypoallergenic.
Muscle pain and tension.
Bon Vital’s Muscle Therapy Oil provides much needed relief with peppermint oil for a deep reaching, heating sensation.
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