What is Cupping?
Cupping involves placing a glass or plastic cup on the skin and creating a vacuum within the cup. Skin, muscle and connective tissue are drawn up into the cup and stretched, increasing the blood supply to the muscle and decreasing restriction between the layers of muscle and connective tissue.
How is cupping useful in the treatment of my pain?
Myotherapists use cupping in areas of the body that are suffering from facial restriction. Fascia or connective tissue can be responsible for a number of injuries or conditions like, shin splint pain, ITB syndrome or “Runners Knee”, Plantar fasciitis and lower and upper back pain and stiffness. Cupping on it’s own can often make a measurable improvement in the reduction of pain or increased flexibility of the tissue. However your therapist will most likely use some stretching or massage techniques after cupping. Once the fascia is warmed up and more flexible the muscles are often more responsive to soft tissue manipulation techniques.
What exactly is Fascia?
Fascia or “connective tissue” in short is a non contractile tissue that coats and helps connect our muscles, tendons, bone, skin and even organs. It’s believed that one of it’s main roles in the body is to provide support to those structures and reduce vibration within muscles and other soft tissue structures when we are running and moving about. Fascia doesn’t contract like muscles do so it doesn’t get “tight” like muscles, when fascia is tight it is often because it has become adhered or stuck to the muscle lying above or below it. These adhesion’s in the fascia create tension between muscle layers and reduces their ability to glide independently over one another, causing tightness and reduced rang of movement. Tight restricted fascia can also have a negative effect on skeletal muscle by restricting and reducing its blood supply. Typically restricted fascia responds better to Facial release techniques like cupping than it does to massage or trigger point therapy.
Benefits of Cupping
- Increase blood supply to muscle tissue
- Increase range of movement
- Decrease muscle tightness
- Decrease pain
- Speed up recovery time