Cupping dates back to 1550 BC in Egypt and has been used by various cultures over the years. Traditional Cupping is where a flame is lit inside the cup to heat the air which forms a vacuum on the skin; or a vacuum pump is applied manually to create a vacuum inside the cylinder. It draws the soft tissue structure up creating a tensile force to the tissue. The cup can be left static in the same spot for a short period of time or moved along the muscles. It creates a suction effect that increases blood flow to help flush out toxins that have built up and relaxes the muscle.

AIM; application of this method helps to mobilise dysfunctional components within the muscle, in particular the myofascial layers (Strong connective tissue surrounding muscles).

  • It disturbs incorrectly laid down collagen cross linkages by allowing the muscles to maintain its volume, which reduces the likelihood of adjacent collagen fibres from binding.
  • Transforms tissue from a gel or dense substance to a more fluid like form.
  • Helps decrease excessive muscle tension by sustained stretch applied by the cup, this activates receptors in the muscles.

Stretch receptors (muscle spindles) that have a prolonged stretch, re-program the threshold where the stretch reflex is initiated, which allows muscle to elongate further. Golgi Tendon Organs activate inhibitory effects on resting muscle tone and restores resting length.

Following the application of cupping there may be some bruising present.

Cupping can be used to relieve the pain of tight and sore muscles and help reduce pain and swelling in joints.

Natalie Miller – Myotherapist


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