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Cupping Therapy

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping Therapy, commonly referred to as Cupping, has been around for thousands of years and is far from being new. Cupping dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

There are a variety of different methods within cupping therapy but we use silicone cups in tandem with manual therapy and active stretching with your therapist.  This treatment increases blood flow,  loosens the fascia to stimulate healing, breaks-up scar tissue and helps to reduce pain. The cups are often placed on the back, neck, and shoulders or the site of pain. Cupping therapy may cause temporary bruising and redness depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of internal stagnation.  The cups are removed by lifting one edge, which allows air in and breaks the seal and vacuum.

What is Fascia and why is it important when it comes to cupping?

The first part of understand how cupping and myofascial decompression (MFD) work is understanding more about your fascia.

This is what your fascia looks like over your muscle!

Your fascia is your connective tissue that encloses and stabilizes your muscles and organs (very important for obvious reasons). Fascia resembles a plastic wrap covering your muscles.  Having chicken tonight for dinner? Then you can see what fascia looks like when you cut through your chicken breast.

Fascia has an impact on your entire body and the myofascial decompression that happens during a cupping session helps to facilitate improved function of your entire musculoskeletal system by way of improving the health of your fascia.

 

Here is an analogy as it applies to why your body feels a certain way when your fascia is tight and constricted. Think of your fascia like a shirt. If your shirt is tight and knotted near your bottom left hip, it

See how the knot in the left corner is pulling on Janine’s right shoulder???

will affect the way your shirt rests on your body elsewhere. If the knot is tight enough, it can have effects all the way up by your right shoulder. Think of your muscular fascia in the same way. If you are tense, tight and inflexible in one area of your body it will pull and place stress and tension on other areas in your body!

 

Healthy fascia is elastic and pliable. Stiff fascia restricts the movement of muscles and joints, while healthy fascia allows the body to move the way it should. Cupping therapy decompresses the stiffened fascia to improve its mobility, encouraging it to return to its healthy state. While massage applies pressure to the muscles and fascia, cupping pulls them outward. Some people describe this sensation as the opposite of a massage and others say it feels like a little elf  behind your muscles gently pushing them back into place!

 

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    As seen on...

    • The Huffington Post
    • Live Strong
    • Breaking Muscle
    • The Kingston Whig Standard