WHAT IS CUPPING?
Myofascial Decompression (MFD), or cupping, is a technique used to assess and treat myofascial restrictions, muscular imbalances, and other soft tissue impairment by utilizing a decompressive effect provided by the cups to improve facial gliding, mobility, circulation, and decrease muscle tension. Physiologically, cupping is utilized to encourage superficial blood flow, causing increased circulation in aims to produce healing and reduce pain.
We have many layers of tissue, including skin, fascia, muscle, etc., that should move fluidly but due to injury, inflammation, and natural degradation the tissues can become thickened and less mobile.
TRADITIONAL CUPPING & MYOFASCIAL DECOMPRESSION
Traditional cupping has been a part of many Eastern cultures for centuries. “Fire” or “wet” cupping are common techniques, often used by Acupuncturists or Massage therapists and used to promote healing through a change in energy system.
Myofascial decompression uses similar tools but adds the art and skill of movement to create physiological changes. It is considered “dry” cupping.
HOW IS CUPPING USED?
At TrueMotion Physical Therapy we utilize myofascial decompression. When cupping is indicated, the Physical Therapist will place round plastic cups directly on to your skin, with the use of a manual pump to create a suction. Cup placement is based on muscular anatomy. Lotion is often utilized to decrease skin friction. Once cups are placed, treatment involves active movements of the cups or joints of the body, followed by neuromuscular re-education to improve movement patterns and make lasting changes to the tissues.
BENEFITS OF CUPPING:
• Reduce pain and inflammation
• Improves blood flow
• Improves scar mobility and releases connective tissue adhesions within the tissues
• Used for relaxation, well being, and deep tissue massage
• It is a safe, non-invasive treatment
• Facilitates the healing process
• Improved movement quality
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN YOU USE MFD FOR?
• Orthopedic conditions
• Scar adhesions
• Muscle and movement imbalances
• Postural issues
• Trigger points
DO YOU STILL NEED FORMAL PHYSICAL THERAPY?
One of the biggest reasons that myofascial decompression works is that it involves neuromuscular re-education. Similarly to other manual therapy techniques, it is not meant to be performed in isolation. It is very important to perform exercises to aid in making lasting improvements in your mobility, strength, stability, and movement patterns.
If you have a new injury or are someone who benefits from cuing to implement improvements in movement patterns, then a Physical Therapy evaluation would be recommended. MFD may be used during these sessions as indicated.