Myofascial cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy which dates back to 300 B.C. The initial cups were actually animal horns. Thankfully we have come a long way since then, and the therapy involves placing plastic cups on the skin to create a vacuum. The vacuum forms an upward stretch to the top layers of soft tissue, such as the skin and superficial layers of fascia.
(If you have read Jane's previous blog on all the wonders of the Fascia then you will have an understanding of what this marvellous tissue is. If you have not read it then please do, Jane's treatments are amazing and her knowledge on Fascia is outstanding.)
As Jane explained, fascia is a complex system of layers of connective tissue found throughout our body. Your fascia provides a framework that helps support and protect individual muscle groups, organs, and the entire body as a unit. This fascia can become tight and sticky due to inactivity, stress, or trauma. As the fascia gets tighter and tighter in particular areas of the body, it has an effect on its kinetic chain.
How cupping works
The vacuum created by suctioning air through the cups has a therapeutic effect throughout the layers of tissues. Firstly, by lifting the tight superficial fascia, the layers are separated, encouraging fascial glide and tissue remodelling.
Secondly, the vacuum effect draws up stagnant blood and other waste fluid that forms around micro tears in the deep muscle fibres. With these fluids being drawn away from the underlying tissues, new healthy blood is rushed to the area. This increase in circulation brings with it much needed nutrients and fresh oxygen, encouraging faster healing.
Depending on the ailment to be treated, sometimes the cups will be put in position and left there for around 10 minutes. Other times the cups will be moved around the area of pain or concern.
Does it hurt?
You will feel a stretching sensation as the top layers of tissue are lifted. Some people experience warmth and perhaps and slight itching sensation as circulation is drawn to the area. Cupping can leave quite red marks for a few days. This is caused by dilation of the capillaries in the skin to leak and seep into the surrounding tissues. It is nothing to be alarmed about, and they will not last.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the therapy and how it can help you, please do give us a call.
Hopefully see you all very soon
The Boxgrove Clinic
Based just outside of Chichester, The Boxgrove Clinic is a physiotherapy led clinic that brings together a team of expert therapists that collaborate to provide you with a joined up treatment plan. They tailor comprehensive and effective treatment and exercise programmes for you to achieve your goals, whether that be to relieve your pain, improve your mobility, or to recover from an injury or a recent surgery.