Hello, hello! My name is Stephanie and I'm a massage therapist here at Relax! Massage Therapy. I've been a member of this team since April 2017, but have been a licensed therapist since 2013. I recently attended a continuing education workshop in Charlotte, NC to learn two new ways to help my clients: fire cupping and gua sha! My experience has been geared to the therapeutic side of the massage world so I'm super excited to add these modalities to our ever-growing list of services we provide our community.

Fire cupping is the traditional form of cupping therapy. A cotton ball is soaked with alcohol and lit with a flame. We quickly move the flame in and out of the cup and immediately apply the cup to the skin. Lack of oxygen creates the suction that increases blood flow to the targeted area which is why many people experience those famous dark circles. Gliding the cups will treat larger muscle groups. Essentially, cupping can be looked at like the opposite of massage. Massage uses downward pressure to release muscle tension, while cupping uses an upward pressure. Combining the two types of treatment result in longer lasting results!

I invite you to learn more of the basics about cupping by following this link: http://www.relaxwilmington.com/services-and-pricing/cupping/

Gua sha is another traditional Chinese therapy that can assist in pain relief. It can also be referred to as coining, spooning, and scraping - all depending on what type of tool is used. Essentially, the practitioner will use a tool with a smooth edge to scrape the tissue to increase circulation. Like cupping, gua sha can potentially leave dark marks on the skin called petechiae. These red blotches indicate "sha" (blood stagnation) in the area. With regular treatments, most clients will notice a decrease in this reaction.

Both of these therapies can potentially aid in pain relief, reduced muscle tension, inc
reased circulation (and all of the many benefits that are associated with it!), and reduced inflammation just to name a few! They can be added to a massage or a stand alone appointment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to book your appointment now!