Myofascial vacuum cupping is a technique taken from traditional Chinese medicine which involves placing plastic cylinder cups over the body to stretch the soft tissue and mobilise dysfunctional tissue restoring mobility and function.
A small hand held vacuum pump is used with the plastic cylinder cups, which have a valve at the top, to induce a vacuum seal over the skin. The vacuum draws the skin and underlying fascia and muscle perpendicular to the skin providing a regulated negative pressure in the cup and tensile force to the soft tissue targeted. The negative pressure suctions out air in the cup drawing skin, fascia and superficial muscle layers up into the cup where it is held until the therapist releases the pressure or in particularly tight areas it may release itself.
What tissues are we targeting?
Myo = Muscle
Fascia = the soft tissue component of connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body.
Myofascia = fascial connective tissue specifically related to muscle.
also all other structures within the muscle are also targeted such as neural, vascular and contractile.
What to expect.
Your therapist will palpate the skin during the beginning or during your massage to determine which areas may benefit from cupping. A lubricant is then applied (i use a non-perfumed aqueous cream) to the skin, before placing the cups on the body. One, two, or several cups can be used and typically will be left on for 15 seconds to 2 minutes, or possibly longer for those clients used to cupping. The cup can also be moved around by the therapist with the rim of the cup creating a compression pressure as well. The cups are then removed and cleaned after each use.
Cupping should be pain free and bruising kept to a minimum, however in areas of dysfunction you may experience some bruising in the area which should disappear in a few days. Also check your therapist has had cupping training (our Lisa Buchan has, of course!)
Cupping is integrated into your massage, targeting fleshy, muscular areas of the body to assist circulation and to treat various problems.
I personally find vacuum cupping a quick and effective way to soften up superficial layers of soft tissue which enables me to get into the deeper layers more easily.
What is it good for?
There are of course some contraindications such as open wounds, sensitive or fragile skin, history of vascular disease or DVT, varicose veins, any bleeding.
If you are interested in trying Myofascial vacuum cupping give Lisa Buchan a call at the clinic 093780059 or book in online.