Since the Olympics last August, we've seen a lot of bruise marks on the athletes. These bruises are coming from a technique called cupping. This technique has been practiced in Chinese Medicine for many, many years.
For athletes, cupping is being used to improve circulation and loosen and decompress the muscle and fascia or connective tissue that underlies that area. But not only the athletes benefit from cupping!
It can also be used to help relax overactive muscles which allows us as physical therapists to teach the patient how to turn on the other muscles that have shut down due to injury or pain. Many patients have increased muscle tone and tightness of their tissues in their areas of pain, specifically neck and back pain. Cupping over these areas and sliding the cup as you'll see in this video helps to release some of that tightness in the tissue.
Gua Sha tools are also effective for releasing the muscles and fascia as well.
Both are these techniques are not painful and tolerated very well.
Let us know if you have any questions about cupping/Gua Sha and if you think it would benefit you!!