What is Myofascial Cupping?

Myofascial Cupping is a modified version of the ancient Eastern style cupping which differs by specifically targeting the Musculo-Skeletal system rather than the meridian systems used by traditional Chinese practitioners. It also uses plastic cups and vacuum suction rather than glass cups and a naked flame to create suction. A hand operated vacuum pump is used to induce a vacuum inside a cylinder sealed to the skin by the use of oil or cream. The vacuum “draws” the soft tissue perpendicular to the skin thus providing a tensile force to the soft tissue system, which can be left in one site for a prolonged period or moved along the tissue. 

What to expect

Your therapist will palpate the skin during or at the beginning of your treatment to determine which areas may benefit from cupping.  Cream, gel or Oil is then applied to the skin, before placing the cups on the body.  One, two or several cups can be placed on dependent on the size of the area being worked on. These will typically be left on for up to 10 minutes depending on the client’s reaction and sensitivity. The cup can also be moved around by the therapist with the rim of the cup creating a compression pressure as well. There are varying sizes of cups used for different areas. The cups are then cleaned after every use.  Cupping should be pain free and bruising should be avoided or be kept to a minimum, however in areas of dysfunction you may experience some bruising in the area, which should disappear within several days. 

Benefits Of Myofascial Cupping


•               Increases nutrient-rich blood supply to injured area
•               Increases fluid movement which assists in recovery ie; decreased oedema ( fluid accumulation)
•               Creates a negative (tensional) pressure which, passively stretches myofascial tissue, resulting in 
                increased ROM ( Range Of Motion )
•               Assist in reduction of localized inflammation and aids recovery 
•               Breaks Up and Expels Congestion
•               Ideal for people for whom the insertion of accupuncture needles poses a problem or risk


What Conditions Can It help With?
•               Musculo-Skeletal Pain & Injuries
•               Sporting Injuries, especially ITB Syndrome & Plantar Fasciitis
•               Neck and Back Pain
•               Muscle Strains and Sprains
•               Muscle Imbalances and Tightness


Is Myofascial Cupping Safe?
Myofascial Cupping is generally safe for use on most people, however there are some contraindications that may prevent the use of myofascial cupping, such as: 
•               History of vascular disease such as DVT or Varicose veins
•               Pregnant women on lower abdominal region and back 
•               Any bleeding, internal or external
•               Open wounds or Sensitive/fragile skin
•               Young children
•               Recent operation
•               Heart problems
•               Blood thinning medications 

References

Granter R 2010 The Myofascial Vacuum Cupping Manual R L Granter Y Ass, Melbourne

Sheehan David 2011 Myofascial Cupping