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Mobilisation Cupping / Myofascial Cupping


Improve blood flow, movement and recovery
Increase mobility
Reduce pain

The type of cupping therapy used by Katie Guest at Body Restore Clinic Jersey is myofascial decompression cupping or mobilisation cupping. It generally forms part of the treatment rather than being a stand alone treatment and is known as “dry” cupping. Medical-grade silicone cups are mostly used, because they enable moving, pushing and pulling of the fascia more easily, often getting the patient to participate too. BPA-Free Plastic cups are sometimes used when perhaps a more intense treatment is required or specific suction intensity is needed.


How does cupping therapy work?

Cupping works by suctioning the skin into a vacuum, creating a decompression effect (as opposed to the compression effect of massage). This causes an increase in blood flow to the area, which contributes to improved healing and pain management. The cups are left in place on the body (static) or used to push and pull across the fascia (sliding / gliding). Cupping improves tissue mobility, improves recovery time and alleviates stiffness by desensitising the nervous system and improving lymphatic drainage. The decompressive effect can be a useful alternative to compressive deep tissue work in the early stages of the treatment if the individual is highly sensitised.


What are the different types of cupping therapy?

Cupping is mostly used with glass, plastic or silicone cups. Dry cupping is a “suction-only” method, often using a massage lotion or wax alongside it. Wet cupping is when incisions are made and fluids such as blood are extracted. Fire cupping is when a flame is used to heat the cup. We only use dry cupping and do not extract any fluids or use fire when cupping at Body Restore Clinic Jersey. Cupping can be used in conjunction with other mobilisation methods or acupressure methods, as well as other soft tissue therapies.


Is cupping therapy safe?

Yes, cupping therapy is safe if carried out by a practitioner who has been trained to do so properly. At Body Restore Clinic Jersey, we only use medical-grade silicone or BPA-Free plastic cups and do not extract blood or use fire. The methods used are extremely safe and used by individuals with a background of formal training in soft tissues, physiology, and sport.

What are the benefits of cupping therapy?

Cupping therapy or myofascial decompression cupping can have many benefits, which include increased blood circulation, improved healing times in sub-acute injuries, increased lymphatic drainage, pain reduction, increased mobility, reduced stiffness in chronic conditions and trapped nerve relief. Cupping, alongside other manual therapy techniques, can leave individuals with a sense of relief of their painful symptoms and the ability to move better, which in turn creates better movement patterns that do not cause as much pain or stiffness and help the rehab process feel more achievable.


How long does a cupping therapy session last?

A cupping therapy session at Body Restore Clinic Jersey may only last 5 to 10 minutes but it can be anything up to 20 minutes. The cupping therapy is a complement to other treatment modalities and isn’t usually a standalone treatment, so it forms part of a 30 minute, 45 minute or 60 minute appointment.

How many cupping therapy sessions do I need?

Your therapist will recommend a treatment plan based on your initial consultation and presenting concerns. Cupping may be recommended for each session, or alternate sessions or just one (or none at all!) Every person is different, with different needs and requirements, so everything is tailored to you. Patients often specifically ask for this form of treatment during their maintenance sessions as they feel it is a beneficial add on. It is also commonly used in individuals with non-specific low back pain, tight upper traps and sports people with various requirements all over the body.


What should I expect during a cupping therapy session?

Your therapist will talk you through the benefits and potential side effects of using cupping therapy on you. For example, often the inflammatory response from cupping causes bruises due to the micro-trauma that forms part of the healing process. You may not want these side effects and so other treatment options will be discussed. If it has been agreed that cupping should enhance your treatment, then the therapist will carry out the manual techniques deemed appropriate for the presenting condition, and the cupping will form part of this treatment. The cups may be used to slide and glide across the fascia and skin to enhance blood flow and warm the tissues up, or they may be applied in a static way, remain on your body for up to 10 minutes and you will likely be asked to do some movement with them on. This can feel slightly odd at first, but it shouldn’t hurt.


What areas of the body can be treated with cupping therapy?

Cupping can be used over most of the body, except orifices, fresh wounds or new scars, cancerous moles, irritated skin or thinning, fragile skin. We do not do face cupping here at Body Restore Clinic Jersey. The most common areas we use cupping on patients tend to be the lower back, shoulders and neck, arms, legs and soles of the feet / plantar fascia.


Are there any side effects or risks associated with cupping therapy?

You must disclose all relevant medical information so your therapist can deem it appropriate for your issue. There are very few side effects associated with dry cupping and mobilisation / myofascial cupping. The most common, and perhaps most recognised side-effect of cupping is the bluey/purple circles left after the treatment. Not everyone ends up with these, but it is very common. They can last up to 7 days, fading as each day passes, just like a bruise. On occasion, they can feel a little tender for a day or two. Another possible side effect is a spell of dizziness, especially if you manage blood pressure or blood sugar fluctuations, but in our experience here in the clinic, not very common.


How does myofascial cupping differ from traditional cupping therapy?

Myofascial cupping is a form of dry cupping where the focus is on myofascial release, pain relief and mobility. The cups are placed in relation to muscles and fascia and are sometimes moved around, pushed and pulled, often with the patient contributing to the movement too. This type of cupping treatment usually lasts for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. This is unlike “traditional” cupping therapy where the cups are usually kept in one place for a more significant amount of time (sometimes up to an hour) with a focus on stimulating “Qi” and where the treatment may be targeting a specific condition such as acne or IBS and placed on specific acupressure points. Myofascial dry cupping does not extract fluids like blood, or use fire.


What is Rockpod cupping?

Rockpod cupping is myofascial cupping using medical-grade silicone cups developed by the movement and mobility company Rocktape. Rockpods were developed by Rocktape a few years ago to effectively help westernise this ancient eastern Chinese medicine treatment, specifically to help improve movement and reduce pain. Using Rockpods, the therapist can explore tissue gliding, traction and decompression of the tissues with these easy to use cups. They nicely complement other movement improvement tools such as kinesiology taping and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation as well as deep tissue massage and soft tissue therapies.


How does Rockpod cupping differ from traditional cupping therapy?

Rockpod cupping is simply myofascial cupping. Rockpods are the “brand” of cups being used and the therapist that uses them has usually completed Rocktape’s Rockpod Cupping and Rockpod Glides course. Katie at Body Restore Clinic Jersey has completed Rocktape’s Rockpod cupping course and uses both their standard Rockpods and their Rockpod Glides. Using medical-grade silicone cups allows greater ability to move, push and pull the fascia when treating musculoskeletal injuries, fascial restrictions or pains. Traditional cupping is usually focused on a condition such as fertility or skin conditions and so the cups are placed on the body for a much longer period and in a more acupressure point style system.


Who can perform cupping therapy, myofascial cupping, and Rockpod cupping?

As with all modalities, it is important to find someone who has taken the right courses and qualifications. Sadly, there are people who carry out these treatments with little training and without a background in soft tissue physiology. That is why it is important to look for people who work in reputable clinics, like Katie Guest at Body Restore Clinic Jersey, and who are a qualified physiotherapist, osteopath or soft tissue therapist etc with a deep level of understand of the musculoskeletal system and who have taken high quality courses in this discipline. Cupping at Body Restore Clinic Jersey is usually a complement to the main treatment and is used if deemed appropriate by your therapist and you have given informed consent.


How do I find a qualified cupping therapy practitioner?

You can find one right here at Body Restore Clinic Jersey, as Katie has a diploma in soft tissue therapy, has taken Rocktape’s certified Rockpod myofascial clinical cupping course and has also completed OMT’s international diploma in myofascial cupping therapy for the treatment of myofascial pain. If you are looking outside of Jersey, Channel Islands, then Rocktape has a list of “Rockdocs” on their website and their locations, so this would be a good starting point.

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