Cupping Therapy and Myofascial Release

Our Holistic Doctor, Dr. Erin West, specializes in Cupping Therapy and Myofascial Release in Gilbert, AZ. Let us help you achieve a healthy and happy life through natural and effective methods.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping may be trending now, but it’s not new by any means. Cupping therapy is an ancient healing technique used to help ease pain and inflammation and increase blood flow, relaxation, and well-being. In fact, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy. As the name suggests, cups are placed on your back, stomach, arms, legs, or other parts of your body.

What Does Cupping Do?

When you take part in cupping therapy, the negative pressure from the cups acts as a “reverse massage.” While you can enjoy a massage, cupping will also:

  • Rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release
  • Stretch, loosen, and lift connective tissue to release areas of adhesions and constrictions
  • Promote fresh oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood and lymph to skin & muscles
  • Drain fluid and toxins through the lymphatic system
  • Sedate the nervous system to relieve pain
  • Relieves inflammation
  • Provide deep relaxation by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (reducing blood pressure)
Dr. Erin West during cupping therapy session

Cupping therapy is a wonderful treatment for many, and can be used to treat:

  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Lung congestion
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatism
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Migraine headaches
  • Back and neck pain
  • Facial paralysis
  • Numbness
  • Cellulite

Why Are There Sometimes Marks or Discoloration as a Result of Cupping Therapy?

The most common misunderstandings concerning cupping are the misinterpretations of the marks that are sometimes left behind. These marks are NOT bruises! Bruising is caused by impact trauma with the breakage of capillaries and a reactionary rush of fluids to the damaged location from the tissue injury. There is no compression while correctly performing cupping.

When circulation is sluggish or compromised in an injured or diseased area of the body, insufficient oxygen gets to the cells. This results in a local build-up of waste products such as static blood, lymph, cellular debris, and toxins. It is quite common during stationary cupping (left static for 5 – 15 minutes) to achieve dramatic ‘marks’ or ‘discolorations’, while the less aggressive action of moving the cups, minimizes the intensity and duration of the discolorations. This is the therapeutically desired effect – the more this is visible, the greater the level of stagnation and toxicity. The discoloration will fade over three to seven days. Over multiple treatments, there will be less and less discoloration, indicating the internal unwanted toxins have been systematically purged.

What Can I Expect After Cupping Therapy?

Aside from a reduction of pain, the after-effects of cupping are most intense at the beginning of receiving treatments and lessen dramatically as your system becomes accustomed to the treatments as they cumulate. Similar to a deep tissue massage, you may feel the need to sleep, or you may feel a burst of energy, a warm sensation over the area treated, thirst, increased urination, soreness (like after a strenuous exercise), or even a headache as your lymphatic system drains the purged accumulation. In general, you will be surprised at how relaxed, warm, and light you’ll feel for hours, sometimes even days afterward. Book your cupping massage session with us and we’ll be happy to show you what this natural treatment is all about.

Dr. Erin West during cupping therapy session
Dr. Erin West using scraping tool

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is an alternative medicine therapy that is useful for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.

Gua Sha, also known as “scraping,” is one myofascial release technique that involves the cutaneous stimulation of the skin in rapid strokes using a round-edged instrument. The purpose of gua sha is to improve local blood circulation and smooth fascia which may be causing pain.

How Does Gua Sha Work?

During a Gua Sha session, a smooth-edged instrument is used to scrape the skin. This results in increased circulation and often, the patient experiences immediate improvement in pain, stiffness, or respiratory issues. Many physical therapists use a technique called “Graston” which is derived from the ancient Chinese technique of Gua Sha, except they use metal instruments and use it strictly to help with the muscles. With Gua Sha, you can expect it to:

  • Increase surface microperfusion (circulation)
  • Reduce pain and produces a better sense of well-being
  • Reduce inflammatory symptoms in chronic illness (heme oxygenase-1)

    • Cough, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema
    • Mastitis
    • Gastritis
    • Musculoskeletal painful conditions (neck, back)
    • Migraine
    • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Reduce fever and stimulate the immune system (heme oxygenase-1)
  • Reduce symptoms of acute and chronic hepatitis and viral replication
One of the patient rooms at Mend's office

Mend is Here to Help You Heal

Whether you’re on the hunt for cupping therapy or myofascial release, Mend Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine is here to help you heal. Our Holistic Doctor is located in Gilbert, AZ, and is ready to help you achieve a healthy and happy life through our natural and effective methods. Contact us at (480) 788-1757 or schedule your appointment online today.

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