October 31, 2021
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What is it?
- Therapeutic modality which draws blood to a region to stimulate healing and flexibility
- Can be used in conjunction with massage therapy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture and dry needling
- Helps the tissue develop new blood flow and stimulates the healing process
Mechanism of action
- Cupping (like manual massage therapy) increases blood supply to the muscle and fascia and increases pliability of soft tissue
- Stretches tight fascia and muscle tissue
- Initially Cupping pulls blood into an area and tissues becomes saturated with fresh blood while the vacuum pulls stagnant blood out of the area.
- As new blood is forced into the tissues around the cups the body will begin to develop new blood vessels (neovascularisation)
When is it used it on patients?
- On an area which is non-responsive to massage, or
- On an area which is too large for needling to be comfortable
- Within combination therapy
- On patients who simply want to try it for relaxing muscles!
Common injuries it is recommend it for?
- Healed scar tissue (i.e. not straight after surgery, give it at least 1 month)
- Tendinopathies(e.g. golf/tennis elbow, Achilles pain, plantar fasciitis, some RSI)
- Chronically shortened muscles (e.g. patients who complain about their “tight shoulder/neck muscles”)
- Pain –acute or chronic (e.g. sciatic pain, constipation)
- Problems that arise due to inactivity/musculoskeletal dysfunction/ageing can all cause blood supply to tissues to decrease and the fascia gets progressively knotted and scarred, which further limits movement
To answer common questions
- When done properly, Myofascial Cupping does not hurt more than a deep massage
- The cupping marks are not painful in themselves and will fade usually within 10days (can vary)
- This is Dry Cupping, not Wet Cupping (i.e. we will not draw blood)! We do not carry out Wet Cupping at Bridgeham
- The conditions we treat are purely musculoskeletal/mechanical ones (not to be confused with religious cupping used for rebalancing/cleansing purposes)
- Techniques/treatable conditions are the same for Cupping with our Osteopath, Clemence and our Acupuncturist, Selena