What is Cupping Glen Waverley?
Cupping Glen Waverley & The Science Behind It ❗
I believe there are three main categories of effect:
Mechanical Effects ✅
The mechanical effects and benefits of cupping are fairly easy to observe and understand. Unlike the compressive characteristics of massage techniques, cupping primarily decompresses tissues and creates space between multiple layers. The mechanical stress created by cupping helps improve the interlayer gliding of tissues starting at the skin, moving through superficial and deep fascia and into the underlying tissues such as muscles, tendons & ligaments structures.
This ability to decompress versus compress the tissue offers a unique method for mobilizing the underlying structures by creating interlayer space for both internal and external glide, such as external glide coupled with passive and active mobilizations and movement patterns. These progressions can also be introduced in the absence of pain in order to influence mobility and movement patterning.
The most recognized effects of cupping are the large, blood-red, bruise-like circles on the surface of the skin. These appear because the vacuum effect between the cup and the skin creates enough negative pressure to draw blood to the surface of the skin.
As we continue to develop a greater understanding of the neuro-chemical effects, the colors of this bruising can actually provide us with valuable details regarding the stages of healing in the underlying tissues. This drawing of blood to the surface is what led practitioners to believe in cupping’s ability to improve blood and energy flow, as well as improve the body’s circulation.
Fluid Dynamics 💦
Cupping’s ability to create space between the interstitial layers of tissue has a direct effect on the fluid content therein. An increase in molecules such proteoglycans, hyaluronic acid and glycosaminoglycans all contribute to the surrounding connective tissues’ ability to glide, thus improving the ability to mobilize the area being treated as well as improve blood and lymph flow.
Creating a change in fluid dynamics by way of decompression creates an opportunity for therapeutic intervention for clients who might not otherwise be able to tolerate pressure from traditional massage strokes or other treatment methods. It also has implications for tissue recovery methods due to its facilitating greater motility of blood and lymph flow.
The neurological and chemical aspect of touch is ever-increasing information, new understandings and implications for effective treatments.
The neuro-cognitive approach has shed light on the fact that chronic pain results in a disruption in our proprioceptive cognition in relation to the area affected.
When our brain dissociates from an area of the body due to chronic pain, that area of the body loses sensory awareness, which has an effect on how we move and even how we relate to that particular body part.
By using touch, such as cupping, pain is decreased, and body awareness and motor control are improved by providing stimulus to mechanoreceptors underlying the skin. However, touch stimulus combined with functional context such as relevant movement patterns, whether passive or active depending on a client’s abilities, have a greater effect on improving the sensory representation for that area.
Studies have shown that touch therapy also increases the release of nerve growth factor, which aids in rewiring the brain for improved motor patterning and decreasing the loss of proprioception.
In regard to the chemical or immune benefits of cupping, enzymatic reactions occur due to the tissue strain to the sub-dermal tissue caused by cupping treatment. When this tissue strain occurs, bleeding just below the surface of the skin occurs, releasing hemoproteins containing heme.
While heme is important for healing, too much heme can actually cause greater tissue injury. As a result, hemoxygenase begins to degrade excessive amounts of heme to buffer any further damage. In this process of consuming heme, hemeoxygenase releases carbon dioxide, biliverdin, bilirubin and iron.
All three of these molecules, in low concentrations, have been found to have positive effects on pain and inflammation. Carbon dioxide in low concentration has been shown to decrease pain at the spinal cord level, and biliverdin and bilirubin have been found to serve as anti-inflammatories, anti-apoptotics and antioxidants.
These findings offer valid speculation regarding the discoloration of the tissue seen after cupping sessions. This discoloration is possibly an indicator of a healing response!
Thanks to Stacey Thomas for contributing to the evidence based research.