Chances are, you heard about cupping during the 2016 Olympics, when many athletes -- most predominantly Michael Phelps -- were showing circular bruise marks and touting the modality's recovery benefits.
Cupping uses local suction by creating a vacuum inside glass cups to lift skin and fascia upward away from the tissue layers below it. By creating space between fascial layers, this decompressive therapy (also commonly used in acupuncture) decreases pain, improves circulation, breaks up adhesions and facilitates the increase of lymph flow.
Kelly studied cupping from her mentor Nephyr Jacobsen at the Naga Center, a traditional Thai massage school in Portland. Kelly does not perform the blood letting version of cupping (sometimes called "wet cupping"), and cupping is contraindicated for clients with varicose veins.
Cupping marks generally last 3-5 days, perhaps longer in some cases. The recommended post-cupping protocol is for 1-2 days to keep the bruise marks covered and also avoid Epsom salt baths.
(So that Kelly can use the tools she feels fit the client, all massage modalities are included in either your deep tissue or Thai massage at no extra charge.)