Cupping is one of the oldest, most ubiquitous alternative therapies the world over, and applying this technique to facial massage offers a wide variety of benefits—for beauty and beyond. Because TCM views the whole body as an energy system, and because the meridian channels that run throughout the body have quite a concentration of points on the face, it should come as no surprise that tending to the face and promoting the smooth flow of Qi there will have direct, positive implications for overall health. Indeed, the appearance of the face provides important clues as to the health of our internal organs, blood flow, and even energetic health.
To expand a bit on an overdone but nonetheless potent cliché, where attention goes, energy flows… and when energy flows, the body knows. The unobstructed flow and robustness of Qi is one of the primary conditions for a deeply felt sense of vitality, and supports the body in doing what it does best: heal. As Dr. Carlos Paulo, author of Neursosensitive Facial Cupping and Integrative Facial Cupping explains, this technique actually helps stimulate several of the different physiological systems: vascular, lymphatic, nervous, and muscular. It is very beneficial to the vascular system by enhancing blood supply and helping to remove stagnant waste.
The lymphatic system functions synergistically with the venous and arterial systems; its facilitation in both removing impurities and delivering nutrients via the subcutaneous blood then reflects in balanced-looking skin. Further, he explains that the nervous system of the head is closely linked to the trigeminal nerve (sensory) and the facial nerve (motor), and releasing tension in the facial muscles helps regulate the nervous system. Importantly, each organ system also has a corresponding emotion such that stimulating meridian channels and promoting the associated organs’ optimal functioning can also support emotional balance.
Facial cupping helps improve blood circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage, relieves tension, clears toxins, and (therefore) brings rejuvenation to the skin. It has also been shown to stimulate the production of collagen and support the musculature, all of which promotes a radiance that exudes from the face. Using small glass cups that create a suction effect on the skin, this technique gently lifts and stretches the facial tissues, pulling the skin away from deeper tissues to stimulate healing and regeneration. This non-invasive therapy can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness, while also toning and tightening the skin… but its benefits go far deeper.
For more information on how to perform a facial cupping massage, read our step by step instructions here. You might also enjoy understanding facial mapping, or the meridian points to stimulate while tending to your face (and beyond).