Reduce Chronic Pain
Improve Fluid Flow
Reduce Chronic Pain
Improve Fluid Flow
“Hi, I’m Sierra Weyerman and I am a massage therapist here at South Pointe Physical Rehab. Today, I’m going to show you a little bit about cupping and how I do it.
First, I’m just going to kind of work through the tissues, get a feel for what tissues, what tissues are targets, areas that need the most attention and between the shoulders is a very common place for attention and tightness.
So I’m going to show you some cupping through the shoulder girdle. Dr. Wright here is having quite a bit of tension and his rhomboids and mid trap. So, I’m going to do a little massage upping through here. What we want to do is keep the area pretty lubricated with the lotion so that it’s easy going.
I’m going to take the cup and stick it on to the skin. It creates sort of a vacuum that pulls the layers of the muscle and connective tissue apart, bringing up those adhesions. And then I’m going to try and cut through the tissue and start slow, see and feel what’s going on. What area the cup moves most freely, and what areas it likes to stop at, those are the tighter areas.
We can go back and forth and switch up the movements. Sometimes it comes up, I just stick it back on.
And just to get through breaking up all of the adhesion.
And there is also what we call static cupping, so we can stick it onto an area of tightness or pain or trigger points, that we feel like needs increased attention so Dr .Wright here has a pretty good knot, or trigger point right in here. So I can just stick it on there and get a good amount of suction and make sure he’s comfortable with the amount of suction and leave it there for anywhere from three to 10 minutes. You kind of want to keep it in a maximum of 10 minutes just to keep the tissues healthy and make sure we’re not overdoing it.
What this does is it increases blood flow to a very specific area. This increase in blood flow, helps your muscles and tight muscles because it triggers the healing properties, the natural healing properties and lubrication into the muscles and tissues surrounding tissues to help them move more freely and decreasing pain symptoms.”
Cupping Therapy At South Pointe Physical Rehab
The origins of cupping can be traced back to Egyptian, Chinese, Bulgarian, and North African cultures dating back roughly 3,000 – 5,000 years. According to traditional beliefs, cupping provides: better energy flow, releases toxins, heals disease and eases pain. Recently, cupping has been popularized by athletes and celebrities, and is being utilized by both high level athletes as a compliment to training, and physical rehabilitation patients.
So, what makes cupping therapy such a popular method for people with such varying needs?
With so many different cupping treatment methods around, it is important to distinguish how our providers use this treatment in practice. The way our providers explain cupping to our patients is that it is a form of Myofascial Decompression. When thinking about all of the different layers of tissue from the skin all the way down to the bone, these individual layers, when functioning properly, should be able to glide along one another without restriction.
Sometimes these different layers can become “stuck” together, even forming adhesions. The sticking together of these layers of skin causes a dysfunction in mobility of the tissues, eventually causing abnormal stresses on the attachment site of the soft tissues and will cause disruption in how the body moves.
The three most common types of cupping performed are Static Cupping Therapy and Massage Cupping Therapy. At South Pointe Physical Rehab, our providers are specialists in both of these cupping therapy methodologies.
Static Cupping Therapy
Static cupping is the most common form of cupping therapy, which has the potential to present the purple or red circles after treatment. It is important to realize that there may be no marks after treatment at all, it depends on the individual and the result that they are looking to accomplish from the cupping therapy.
This form of cupping is often utilized when the patient presents signs of specific areas of tightness or pain, which are commonly referred to as trigger points.
One of our in house cupping therapy experts, Sierra Weyerman (LMT), explains how she approaches the static form of this treatment.
Massage Cupping Therapy
Massage cupping therapy is different from static cupping because the cup is not left in a single position, rather it is moved across the patients skin. This method is highly effective in breaking up adhesions and scar tissue across larger areas.
When receiving massage cupping, the area of treatment is lubricated, and the cup is stuck to the skin. Using pressure, the cup creates a vacuum that pulls the layers of muscle and connective tissue apart, which helps bring up the adhesions. The massage therapist starts to move the cup slowly and cut through the tissue.
In areas where the cup glides more freely, there is less adhesions present, but in areas where the cup tends to stick, these are the tighter areas that need more specific attention. Once these areas are identified, the cup is moved back and forth to break up all of the adhesions and scar tissue in that specific area.
What Are Benefits Of Cupping?
When cupping is utilized correctly, the cups act on the layers of tissues and decompresses them, causing any points that are “stuck” to move freely again. This decompression of layers creates the potential for a global response through influencing the molecular properties of fluid and neurological responses. Cupping experts believe that there are three categories of effects from treatment: Mechanical, Fluid, and Neuro-chemical.
Due to the decompressive nature of the treatment, it creates mechanical stress which improves the interlayer gliding of tissues from the skin all the way down to ligaments or organ structures. Successful pain mitigation can be achieved with movement of cups along the body, and can also be used in the absence of pain to influence mobility and movement patterns.
When the tissue layers are decompressed and space is created between them, this has a direct effect on the fluid content in between those layers. An increase in molecules such as proteoglycans, hyaluronic acid, and glycosaminoglycans have a direct effect on the surrounding tissues ability to glide, which improves blood flow and lymph flow. This change in fluid dynamics can be beneficial for patients who due to their conditions may not be able to tolerate the pressure from traditional massage therapy techniques.
It is understood today that chronic pain causes a disruption in our proprioceptive cognition in direct relation to the area where pain symptoms are felt. Over time this results in a “blind spot” that decreases motor control and movement patterns. By using methods of touch such as cupping, your body’s sensory map is improved resulting in decreased pain and increased motor control.
Is Cupping Therapy Right For Me?
When being treated for pain symptoms at South Pointe Physical Rehab, every patient is addressed on an individual basis and examined to see which treatments are viable and would be the most effective to help them reach their recovery goals.
We recommend scheduling an appointment, in which our doctors will go over your medical history and goals to determine if this treatment is right for you.
Even if you are not currently experiencing pain symptoms, cupping therapy can be utilized to maintain healthy blood flow and functional movement, especially in athletes and highly active individuals.
Cupping Therapy FAQ's
At South Pointe Chiropractic we practice dry cupping, which does not use heat (such as fire cupping) or draw blood from our patients skin. Our goal is for out patients to be comfortable during all of our treatments.
There is no risk of injury involved when receiving cupping therapy at South Pointe Chiropractic.
Cupping acts as a form of myofacial decompression, that releases layers of skin that have become “stuck”, allowing for decreased pain symptoms and increased range of motion.
In addition to decompression, there are mechanical, fluid, and neurochemical effects that provide benefits.
Common benefits include:
- Increases Circulation
- Releases Toxins
- Reduces Anxiety
- Eases Scars & Stretch Marks
- Improves Varicose Veins
- Clear Congestion
- Aides Digestion
See details about how cupping provides these benefits.
When cupping is utilized correctly, the cups act on the layers of tissues and decompresses them, causing any points that are “stuck” to move freely again. This decompression of layers creates the potential for a global response through influencing the molecular properties of fluid and neurological responses.
Check out our full blog post on cupping therapy.
Cupping Therapy Specialists
SOUTH POINTE PHYSICAL REHAB
Dr. Megan Moon
- Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner (CCWP)
Dr. Dean Wright
- Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)
Dr. Bradley Grgurich
- Physical Therapist (PT)
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
- Massage Therapist (MT)
- Massage Therapist (MT)