You’ve probably heard of cupping before, but not many people know the difference between traditional forms of cupping and myofascial cupping. Since it’s a popular treatment option for our clients experiencing deep muscle tension, or in need of rapid healing, we wanted to share a little more about this amazing therapy.
What is Myofascial Cupping?
Fascia & Your Body
Before we dive deeper into myofascial cupping, it’s important to understand what fascia is in the body and how important healthy fascia is to your overall well-being. In short, fascia is made up of many bands of smooth and wavy connective tissues. These bands connect your muscles, organs, and skeletal system and allow you to move. You can imagine your fascia as a case of flexible, moveable armour between your insides and your skin.
When fascia is healthy, it’s supple and smooth, and the various bands are able to move over and under one another easily. However, when it becomes damaged, it can become tense and sticky. This can happen due to injury, surgery, stress, tension, or inflammation.
One of the most important things to note about fascia is that all of the bands are interconnected and work together like one big sheet. So, when the fascia is damaged in one place, the surrounding fascia and other tissues (like muscles) can be impacted.
Myofascial Cupping for Soft Tissues
Myofascial cupping works to relieve deep muscle tension in your soft tissues. Although it works similarly to traditional cupping techniques like fire cupping, myofascial cupping includes movement of the cups across the skin. This allows the therapist to work into a greater range of muscles and tissues, and to gently but firmly separate tissues that are sticking together and causing discomfort.
Myofascial cupping uses silicone cups instead of traditional glass cups. The cups are compressed and suctioned to the skin, creating a negative pressure that brings more blood flow and fluids to the region. It also softens tissues and makes them more flexible and supple.
There are a few things to know before your treatment. First, cupping sometimes causes marks that look like bruises to the skin (especially on the upper body). They aren’t usually painful and often go away within a few days.
Second, cupping is not an instantaneous solution. It may aggravate conditions or symptoms for a few days before the healing sets in. Your massage therapist might use myofascial cupping in conjunction with other treatment methods (such as therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, or other massage treatments) to give you better results.
Why Do People Get Myofascial Cupping Treatments?
People may look for myofascial cupping for a variety of reasons. Or, in some cases, a therapist will suggest the treatment after finding painful trigger points or areas of tension. Just a few of the reasons you might want to try myofascial cupping include:
- Muscle tension or spasms
- Chronic pain
- Surgical scarring (check with your surgeon and/or doctor first)
- Restless leg syndrome
- Digestive issues
- Back or hip pain
- Those who have had hip, knee, or other joint replacements
The Top Four Benefits of Myofascial Cupping
- Relieves Soreness and Pain from Deep Muscle Tension
If you’ve ever experienced recurring pain due to deep muscle tension, you know how frustrating it can be. Chronically sore muscles can cause issues with mobility, sleep, and everyday activities, and it often gets worse and more extensive if it’s left untreated (remember, damage in the fascia affects other parts of the fascia).
Deep muscle tension is often caused or worsened by growing tension in the fascia. Myofascial cupping offers the ability to work more specifically within the fascia by manipulating the position of the cups across the body to pull apart tense and sticky bands. This often gives your therapist a good starting point to work into the muscles with massage.
- Improves Range of Motion in Joints
One of the reasons we love myofascial cupping so much at Urban Massage & Wellness is the focus on whole-body healing.
Just as releasing fascial tension helps restore muscle functioning, it can also improve joint motion. When your joints are tense or stiff, it’s often the result of tense fascia pulling the joint out of place. This is one reason why people who have had knee or hip replacements (or any kind of surgery impacting the joints) seek out this treatment. If you’ve had any kind of surgery, be sure to check with your surgeon or doctor before seeking myofascial cupping therapy.
- Increases Circulation
One of the main reasons myofascial cupping is so effective in supporting full-body healing is the increased blood flow to specific parts of the body. Blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to healing tissues, speeding up the rate of recovery.
Cupping can also stimulate better overall circulation, especially in those with circulation issues. It also ensures that the blood can remove toxins from the body more quickly, which is important because cupping also stimulates lymph flow, as we’ll see in the point below.
- Improves Lymph Flow
Blood isn’t the only fluid that gets brought up closer to the cups during a treatment. Lymph is also stimulated.
Lymph is an important means of transport in your body, and it’s an important part of your immune system. Lymph travels throughout the body, carrying bacteria and waste products back to the bloodstream so they can be eliminated by the liver and kidneys. However, unlike the circulatory system, there isn’t an organ pumping this liquid through the body. It moves mostly because of gravity. Cupping is a great way to stimulate the movement and flow of lymph in your body.
Meet Our Myofascial Cupping Therapists
Several members of the Urban Massage & Wellness team are trained in myofascial cupping massage:
If you’ve been looking for myofascial release or massage therapy in St. Albert, check out our online booking tool to book your next appointment.
Looking for something different? We have a large staff with a wide range of skill sets, and we love to work as a team to provide whole-body wellness to our clients. Check out our services page for more treatment types.