Cupping induced spotted muscular backs are all the rage thanks to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Specifically, Michael Phelps. Twenty-three gold medals and five-time Olympic competitor, he knows a thing or two about recovery and how to keep his body in an optimal state for performance. In addition, many celebs, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston, have been spied wearing sexy backless dresses with the marks of a recent cupping treatment. They too promote this ancient healing practice.

Athletes Love Cupping

rings-1287753_640Cupping, a well known practice among massage therapists and acupuncturists, has been used since ancient times. This widely used therapy can treat a multitude of ailments. Thanks to the telltale spots on Olympic athletes, the media mainstream is buzzing with enthusiasm. We like to think of the tennis ball sized round circular marks as a badge of top notch self care.

While many athletes love cupping, there are many compelling reasons to consider it beyond the competitive arena. Yes, this ancient therapy helps athletes recover faster, alleviates pain, and promotes flexibility. However, the rest of us can benefit from the power of cupping so that we may better perform in our everyday lives as well.

How It Works

Cupping essentially creates a suction cup, or vacuum. The suction pulls the skin back and loosens muscles and tendons. This increases flexibility while alleviating inflammation. Impurities, toxins, and dead blood cells are then pulled to the surface of the skin. The popular circular dark purple marks are created in this process.

Add increased blood circulation and oxygenation to the list of benefits! In this process, cells are given a fresh infusion of blood that is rich with oxygen and nutrients. Detoxification, blood flow, and lymphatic circulation are triggered which reduce swelling, inflammation, and congestion.

Lower back, joint, and muscle pain are often significantly reduced with cupping therapy. Some say that cupping is the deepest form of deep tissue therapy, penetrating 4 inches deep into the fascia. Due to increased blood flow and release, the pain relief is often immediate.

Top 3 Lesser Known Benefits

While many of our clients at Zama add cupping to their massage sessions for reasons of pain relief, we would like to highlight some our favorite lesser known benefits.


Cupping wakes up the body and makes it feel invigorated and energized. At the same time, it creates an ideal environment for healing the body and mind by relaxing and sedating the nervous system. These uplifting and relaxing benefits for the mind and body can help combat depression. The causes for depression are complex and vary from person to person. However, the benefits of this therapy support the body in a way that helps alleviate depressive symptoms. Improved digestion, lymph drainage, decreased stress, and detoxification promote healthy thoughts and emotions.


The relaxing effect of cupping helps to support healthy digestion. Add in abdominal massage via cupping and the intestines respond favorably.  Massage Magazine reports "with regular abdominal cupping, there is an increase in digestive secretions that enhances peristaltic movement. Cupping will improve appetite, digestion, bile flow and metabolism, aid in the treatment of distension and acidity, help with conception, relieve constipation and promote regularity of the bowels." Common areas for digestive cupping are around the navel, over the bladder, around the kidneys, and over the stomach.


Cupping therapy strengthens the immune system. It promotes detox, circulation, and lymphatic flow. Better yet, it will help clear away phlegm and congestion caused by flus and colds, which will speed up recovery. Cupping can help alleviate respiratory symptoms caused by allergies and asthma as well.MagCuppingBack7

At Zama you can add this unique treatment to any massage. Our blend of massage cupping and magnetic acupressure cupping will make the results of your 30, 60, 90 or 120 minute massage last much much longer.


 Have a Toasty Warm Holiday with HotShotz!

Summer has passed and the fall and winter seasons are once again upon us here in the beautiful city of Portland! Whether you are out and about enjoying the winter festivities, at home defrosting or have some muscle soreness or pain; HotShotz instant, reusable heat packs are here to help! HotShotz are your quick and easy solution to the daily muscular issues that come upon us as well as a solution to your shivering and goose bumps. With the click of a button, Hotshotz reusable heat packs will instantly crystallize and heat up to 130 degrees!

Many of you are already using products such as an electric heating pads or microwavable rice packs on those days when you have intolerable muscle stiffness or soreness. Zama Massage and Therapeutic Portland ORWhat about when you are on the go and suddenly hit with a neck spasm or a lower back throb and you don't have a microwave or plug in in sight? Hotshotz comes in handy for these moments, pain relief and relaxation on the go! HotShotz reusable and instant heat packs do not require a microwave or batteries so they make it easy to use.

Convenient and therapeutic for muscle pain, HotShotz are a favorite of any outdoor enthusiast! With a diverse variety of sizes to choose from, HotShotz are convenient and ideal for skiers, snowboarders, camping, or outside winter activities. Great for pet lovers, they will keep your four legged friends warm at night.

With one easy click of a button, a HotShotz heat pack will instantly crystallize and heat up to a toasty 130 degrees! Lay or press it against the area of stiffness to encourage muscle relaxation or to reduce pain, it will leave you moving freely and able to continue on with your day! By applying therapeutic heat to an area of pain you will experience increased blood flow through the tissue. The increased blood flow helps relieve pain, while delivering oxygen and nutrients to the injured, sore muscle area. Non-toxic and incredibly durable, HotShotz will continue to generate heat anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours based on the size of the HotShotz and how well you keep them insulated.

Starting on Black Friday through the entire month of December Hotshotz reusable heat packs are 10% off!  You will find it is a wonderful gift that keeps on giving.  Click here to find HotShotz in our online store.


Every Weekend Warrior Deserves The Royal Treatment

Just in time for the summer road races, we've combined our two most popular spa services into one package to help all of our Weekend Warriors find the relief they so desperately need. August is like the 50 yard line of summer and we know that means you’ve been hitting the pavement hard in anticipation of your big event. Whether it's running those long distance foot races, cross-fit training, scaling steep mountains, or just working up a sweat in the garden, we created this special for the semi-pro athlete in all of us!

TreatmentLet us take care of you from head to toe with our 75 minute Weekend Warrior Massage and 60 minute Deep Blue Deluxe Pedicure. A perennial spa favorite, the Weekend Warrior blends the best of our Sports Therapy and Deep Tissue massages, utilizing steamed heat-packs for any achy soreness and cold-packs for any acute pain. While hydrotherapy works its magic, Deep Blue Rub is applied to tender areas. As you sit back and ease into your Deep Blue pedi, your aches and pains will disappear with a therapeutic foot and calf massage, again enhanced by our cooling Deep Blue Rub. Warm eco-fin booties heat your muscles and wipe away any remaining pain. Finally, your nails are restored to their pre-race luster with one of our complimentary, 5-Free Deborah Lippmann nail polishes.

The Royal Treatment

75 minute Weekend Warrior Massage
60 minute Deep Blue Deluxe Pedicure

All for just $150!

*Includes chilled cranberry honey kombucha from Oregonic Tonic

Call 503-281-0278 to book your appointment or Book Online now.

January Featured Product: 21 Drops Headache Blend

This month, we are featuring just the thing to help you recover form the hustle and bustle of the holidays: Headache Aromatherapy from 21 Drops!

Tension? Overindulgence? Changes in the weather? Whatever the cause, this blend will relieve your pain and stimulate proper blood flow. Headache fuses the 100% natural essential oils of soothing lavender, invigorating peppermint, and clarifying rosewood, blended in 100% organic Jojoba Oil.

Headache is free of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes and fragrances, and is not tested on animals. It’s a healthy alternative to over the counter or prescription headache medicines, which can cause dependence, rebound effects, or other health issues.

Headache will ease your pain, soothe your senses, and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face your day. Stash one in your purse, in your medicine cabinet, or by your bedside. For best results, keep close and use often!

Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

2149 NE Broadway Street
PortlandOregon 97232
Off street parking in back (compact cars only).

Phone: 503.281.0278


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