To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Address Solid Bloat with Massage Cupping,” by Anita J. Shannon, in the February 2011 issue. Article summary: An unrecognized pathological condition is affecting a large segment of the population and could, in my opinion, be a key component of disease and degeneration, allergies and addictions, as well as obesity and toxicity. I call this condition solid bloat. Working with vacuum therapies not only effectively assists in eliminating years’ accumulation of solid bloat, it also provides information about the cause and nature of the condition.

by Anita J. Shannon

Vacuum therapies produce dramatic benefits for body contouring, detoxification and much more. The effects of inflammation, dehydration and stagnation that create solid bloat can be found in clients—and in our own bodies—as localized and widespread conditions.

The ease and comfort with which the vacuum can release issues in the tissues is revolutionary for clients and practitioners alike.

Think of the impact of clearing and opening the body systems down to a cellular level, releasing old debris from the body. A new cycle begins with replication of healthier cells turning into healthier tissue systems; a recaptured homeostasis that leads to wellness, despite age or life history.

Palpating solid bloat can be done with the hands and through the cups. Discern the texture of the tissue both with tactile and visual insight. Is the tissue hot or cold, pink or white, or mottled? Is it hard and bumpy, soft and spongy, or discolored?

Have you ever massaged a client’s head and found deposits of a gel-like substance? What if this is the same solid bloat, and has been created by acute or chronic inflammation of the brain tissue? Theories abound that chronic inflammation of the body tissues from allergies and toxicities can also inflame the brain, severely clouding short term memory and even leading to mental pathologies. What if this chronic inflamed condition is part of the diseases we call dementia and Alzheimer’s?

One 29-year-old student experienced her skin turning yellow after the first day of class. There seemed to be no reasonable explanation until she called her mother and found she had been severely jaundiced as a baby. She then shared with the class that she had always had problems bending forward because of a catch in the lower right ribs. Her class partner worked that day over her liver and the student finally discovered the freedom of movement most of us normally enjoy.

Vacuum therapies are used to open and drain the lymphatic system, release restrictions and shift the polarity and PH of the tissue to assist the body in re-establishing homeostasis. The importance of these factors in optimal athletic performance, detoxification, addiction recovery, successful weight loss, disease prevention and treatments for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s, will be the subject of much research in the coming years.

Licensed since 1983 and an educator since 1990, Anita J. Shannon began offering workshops on ACE Massage Cupping™ and MediCupping™ therapies in 2002, and appears at numerous national conventions. She has published many articles and produced five educational videos on VacuTherapies™. To learn more, visit