Myofascial Cupping with RockPods is the new service we’re offering at Golden Chiropractic. Many of my patients are afraid of acupuncture, but curious about cupping. I’ve also experienced great relief myself with cupping therapy from both Melissa and Carmen.
What Exactly Are RockPods?
RockPods are rubbery suction pods. They use negative (decompressive) pressure to lift, separate, and stretch underlying soft tissues. The pods allow me to grab, pull, and push fascia to treat pain, mobility, and movement dysfunctions. As RockTape puts it, “They really suck.”
What Does Myofascial Cupping Do?
FMT Myofascial Cupping affects the body’s nervous, immune, and fascial systems. Cupping encourages the body’s natural healing process by encouraging flow and discouraging congestion. Myofascial cupping:
- increases blood flow to a region, which delivers oxygen to the tissues. This encourages both healing and congestion removal
- causes anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cell death chemicals in the body
- stretches tight fascia and muscles
I’ve Seen Some Initial Success with Myofascial Cupping and RockPods
I’ve treated patients with neck tension, shoulder pain, low back pain and exercise related muscle soreness. So far folks are seeing faster results, increased movement, and decreased pain.
I’ve been treating a former water polo athlete with chronic right shoulder pain. She’s been adjusted and we’ve been doing myofascial blading. After recently adding cupping therapy to her treatment she notes: “It feels less pinchy in the front of my shoulder when I raise my arm. (After cupping) I get a feeling of warmth in my shoulder that feels like I had a hot pack on my shoulder for 30 minutes. I can feel the increased blood flow and my shoulder moves again!”
How Is Myofascial Cupping Different from Our Other Treatments?
Myofascial cupping is the opposite of massage and myofascial blading. Rather than pushing and compressing soft tissue, the cups lift and decompress. I can push and pull on the cups to create a shearing affect between the layers of fascia. This helps increase mobility in tense areas like the shoulders, hips, and IT bands. The cups also stimulate nerve receptors in the skin which has a sedative effect on pain.
I’ve Seen RockPods Myofascial Cupping’s Effects in Ultrasound
During the RockPods training course we used a musculoskeletal ultrasound to measure the increased distance between the skin and the muscle from 2mm to 6mm when under the cups. That measurable increase in interstitial space is believed to act like a sponge that attracts fluid into the area. This action creates flow and relieves congestion.
Is There More Than One Myofascial Cupping Technique?
There are three main techniques: Fixed Dry Cupping, Flash Cupping, and Massage Cupping.
Fixed Dry Cupping is used on a fascial adhesion or trigger point for a short time to reduce or eliminate it. The cups are applied directly to the site of pain or dysfunction and left there for 90 seconds to 5 minutes. Fixed cupping may cause slight discomfort. It may also cause discoloration marks that look like round bruises. These marks are normal, generally disappear within a couple of days, and indicate that a healing process is occuring.
Flash Cupping is applying the cup and pulling it off the skin quickly, then repeating that process. The cups are applied for less than five seconds before being pulled off. This technique is great for managing pain. Flash cupping generally does not leave visible marks.
During Massage Cupping the cups are applied on an affected area and moved over the surface in a gliding motion. The skin and muscles aren’t compressed like a traditional massage. They are pulled into the cup. Massage cupping generally does not leave visible marks.
How Will I Know If Myofascial Cupping Is the Right Treatment for Me?
RockPods are typically applied on the neck, shoulders, back, sacrum, hip, thigh, calves, and upper arms. RockPods stimulate the body’s natural healing process to:
- treat chronic pain
- relieve tension
- sedate the nervous system
- ease musculoskeletal pain and discomfort
- treat sports injuries, mobility and movement dysfunctions
Interested in seeing the benefits of myofascial cupping for yourself? Ask me about how they might help you. Reach out and make an appointment with Dr. Goldi.