Myofascial cupping is a soft tissue modality that encourages blood flow, loosens fascia and connective tissue, and promotes healing by using a cup and suction to create negative pressure within the bodies tissue. A glass or plastic cup is placed on the area of skin to be treated and the air is subsequently pumped out of the cup, creating negative pressure and suction, pulling the underlying tissues, blood and other fluids into the cup. While the exact mechanism of action still is not fully understood (find out current theories here), with Myofascial cupping, the negative pressure is used to restore bio-mechanical balance and reduce myofascial pain syndrome by gliding the cup along the muscle and fascia in an effort to break up myofascial trigger points and adhesions within the underlying tissue.

A myofascial trigger point, or "knot", is a hyper-irritable band of tissue where portions of muscle fibres are held in a contracted state. They are thought to form in response to trauma, unaccustomed loads, sustained postures, repetitive behavioural movement patterns, emotional stress and hot/cold environmental factors. Trigger points cause swelling within the muscle tissue that results in adhesions forming as layers of tissue become stuck together. This elicits an unnatural shift in the bodies tensegrity structure that results in detrimental tensile forces throughout the body causing soft tissue pain and muscular dysfunction. 
As a myofascial cupping practitioner, I look for asymmetry within my patients body and muscle tissue, then work to rectify the imbalance through advanced massage techniques and myofascial cupping so as to release myofascial trigger points and adhesions within the fascial network. This in turn restores optimal bio-mechanics within the tissue by improving muscle and joint range of motion, relieving pain and minimising the long term detrimental effects of poor posture and intrinsic aging.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about this modality or if i can help with any of your soft-tissue concerns.


Benefits of Myofascial Cupping:

Anyone experiencing soft tissue pain can benefit from Myofascial Cupping Therapy. This modality works to restore functional movement by releasing trigger points and adhesions within the tissue improving tissue tone, flexibility and range of motion. 

  • The 'diffuse noxious inhibitory control' theory suggests the benefits from myofascial cupping comes from pain inhibiting pain.

  • The 'reflex zone theory' suggests that the negative pressure from myofascial cupping opens the tissue and respective electromagnetic pathways, allowing for better communication between the central nervous system and surrounding tissue.

  • The 'gate control therory' suggests that myofascial cupping closes the nerve "gates" to pain input to the central nervous system. 

  • Manual manipulation of the tissues decreases pain associated with trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome

  • Improved range of motion by breaking up adhesions, meaning less chance of injury 

  • Reduced wear and tear on the body due to better bio-mechanics and posture

  • Improved flexibility through the reduction of trigger points and adhesions

  • Myofascial cupping has been shown to increase blood supply to the tissue. 

  • Improves muscle health by stimulating the lymphatic system.

  • Reduced trigger points and adhesions within the tissue improves blood circulation. Meaning improved removal of metabolic waste and an increase in nutrients delivered to the cells.


What to expect from Myofascial Cupping:

  • Patients can expect a generally pain-free experience from myofascial cupping.

  • The treatment can be similar to that of a regular massage. The practitioner will often warm the area with remedial massage before using myofascial cupping.

  • Alternatively, a purely myofascial cupping treatment can be carried out if that patient prefers.

  • When myofascial cupping is carried out, oil is applied to the treatment area so the cup is able to glide over the tissue. 

  • The cup is placed onto the skin and a pump is used to physically suck the oxygen out of the cup, creating a vacuum that pulls the underlying tissue and fluids up into the cup.

  • Medium negative pressure is felt in the tissue as the practitioner glides the cup up and down the length of the muscle being treated.

  • The area is assessed through palpation, with further treatment applied if tension or congestion are still present within the fascial network.  

  • In areas of heavy restriction, the practitioner may leave one or more cups along the length of the muscle and carry out active release techniques. This helps release trigger points and breaks up adhesions, restoring the tissue to its optimal length. A slight feeling of warmth or burning can sometimes be felt within the tissue when this technique is carried out. This is the adhesions or layers of stuck connective tissue breaking apart as the muscle dysfunction is being addressed. 

  • Post treatment, patients often report the targeted muscles feel a lot more pliable and relaxed. 

  • Myofascial cupping can cause erythema (redness) or purpura (bruising) from a few hours through to two weeks post treatment. However, this is not as common as other forms of traditional cupping, due to the cups not being left in a static position for a long period of time.

  • Myofascial cupping may cause small reds dots to appear on the skins surface (petechiae). This is a desirable effect of the blood being pulled from the capillaries to the surface of the skin indicating an increased blood flow to the treated area.

  • Patients can often feel 'wiped out', tired and/or emotional for a few hours after a treatment.

  • There are instances whereby the treatment may actually increase the pain symptoms, or the pain moves to another place within the body. This is a normal part of the body's healing process and should be communicated with your therapist on the next treatment. 

  • Continue with normal daily activity post treatment as the lymph system relies on muscle contraction to filter out toxins. 

  • Strenuous activity should be avoided for the remainder of the day. 


Indications for Myofascial Cupping:

  • Any soft tissue pain that is related to the bodies bio-mechanics, for example; neck pain, back pain, headaches, upper cross syndrome, shoulder impingement, tendinitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, knee pain, groin strain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis.  

  • A band of tissue within skeletal muscle that is painful to touch and causes the patient to jump/shout on palpation. 

  • An identified trigger point within the muscle through palpation

  • Palpation reproduces the patients pain both locally and/or globally

  • Anyone looking to relieve pain and/or tightness through the reduction of myofascial trigger points and adhesions within the muscle

  • Scar tissue and adhesions


Contraindications for Myofascial Cupping:

Possible side effects for Myofascial Cupping:

  • Acute musculoskeletal injuries

  • People with burns, injuries, painful or open wounds

  • Fragile or frail individuals

  • Fractured or broken bones 

  • People with deep vein thrombosis

  • Communicable skin condition

  • Contagious diseases

  • Fever or sickness

  • Blood clots

  • Pregnancy

  • Hypersensitive skin 

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Inflammation

  • Kidney or liver condition

  • Low blood pressure or acute circulatory conditions

  • Medicated for blood thinning

  • Purpura (Bruising)

  • Petechiae (small red dots from blood vessels being pulled out of capillaries to the skin surface)

  • Post treatment soreness

  • Headaches/Migraines

  • Erythema (Redness) or heat in the skin 

  • Inflammation

  • Feelings of fatigue, tiredness and/or nausea

  • May make eczema or psoriasis worse

  • There have been cases of nerve damage and temporary lose of feeling to the extremities

For a full list of my qualifications and definitions of the other modalities I

combine into all soft tissue treatmeants..


Myofascial Cupping is especially effective as the negative pressure can break up adhesions within the tissue, restoring bio-mechanical balance and relieving myofascial pain syndrome. The treatment can be combined with Massage, Myofascial Dry Needling or as a treatment on its own. 

30 minutes
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90 minutes

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